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Click on any of the thumbnail images to see a larger version.
The water is pretty cold, so the iguanas have to warm up in the sun after each dive (being cold-blooded and all). Our guide had a great line about an iguana that was lying in the sun: "He's not relaxing; he's sunbathing." I doubt that line will work on my wife, but hey, I'll give it a try.
One of the cool things that these iguanas do is to blow salt out of their noses from time to time. Since they're in the ocean all the time, they consume a lot of salt water, and they've got a gland to concentrate it, and then they finally snort it out.
Here's an image snagged from a video of an iguana blowing the salt
snot. If you click on the image on the left, you'll get a set of
six video frames documenting the wonderful event.
They probably evolved from the common green iguana that is commonly found in Central and South America.
On the left we have a so-called "Christmas Tree" Marine Iguana
on Hood Island with beautiful red coloring.
The animals on other islands are not so colorful, but this
sub-species is pretty amazing. On the right is an iguana doing what they're
known for---swimming in the surf.
It seems that the first thing you read in any description of the Marine Iguana is that it eats only the algae in the water. But here on the left is a photo of one dining on a land plant on the first island we visited (North Seymour). He must be "evolving". If you have a relatively fast network connection, click here to see a 3.5 megabyte mpeg of the marine iguana eating something he's not supposed to be eating. On the right is an immature iguana hoping that it won't become the meal of a hawk or snake today.
Finally, here are a couple of iguana mob scenes. Both were taken on Fernandina Island, and I like the photo on the right because of the "conga line" of iguana dancers. Too bad it's back-lit, but I would have had to be up to my hips in the ocean to get a shot from the other direction.