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Rare Footage Of The Marine Iguana

The Marine Iguana
The Marine Iguana. Image by BlueWorldTV via YouTube
Galapagos Marine Iguanas have a RARE Behavior. Credit: BlueWorldTV – Source: YouTube

Ever heard of an iguana that lives on land but feeds under the ocean!? Meet the marine iguana which lives on the Fernandina Island in the Galapagos Islands. This is the world’s only iguana that dives for its food! Join us as we dive deep into the marine iguanas feeding patterns and behaviors.

Aquatic Foraging Of The Marine Iguana & It’s Unique Feeding Behavior

Panorama of marine iguana swimming in shallows
Panorama of marine iguana swimming in shallows. Image via Deposit Photos

Unlike other iguanas, marine iguanas have adapted to a primarily marine lifestyle. Their most recognisable trait is their underwater foraging technique. These amazing reptiles dive into the ocean when they are feeling peckish, holding their breath for up to 30 minutes! During this time they feed on algae growing on rocks beneath the waves. This adaptation allows them to exploit a niche food source other terrestrial reptiles cannot reach!

Salt Excretion: The Marine Iguana’s Unusual Adaptation

Living in a marine environment presents unique challenges. This challenge shows particularly with maintaining electrolyte balance in the face of excess salt intake. Marine iguanas have evolved to cope with this challenge. They possess specialized salt glands which are found near their nasal passages! They use these glands to expel excess salt ingested from seawater. This adaptation allows them to survive and live in their salty habitat.

Social Sunbathing

Marine Iguana resting on lava rocks at  Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos Islands
Marine Iguana resting on lava rocks at Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos Islands. Image via Deposit Photos

Sun basking is a common behavior among reptiles. But marine iguanas have a unique twist on this behavior! Instead of basking individually, marine iguanas often engage in “social sunbathing,” where groups of iguanas congregate in large numbers on rocky shores. This communal behavior serves many purposes. This includes thermoregulation, social interaction, and possibly avoiding predators.

Bottom Line

Overall, in the Galapagos Islands, a very special iguana, known as the marine iguana, challenges the norm of its fellow reptiles! This marine iguana slips into the ocean for sustenance. Which gives us a glimpse into the wonders of evolutionary adaptation.

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