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From the Wild File: Galapagos Marine Iguana

The Galapagos Islands are known for their famously fearless wildlife. Marine iguanas—found exclusively in the Galapagos—are the world’s only seagoing lizards. Take a closer look at this intriguing creature.

Contrary to their fierce, spiky-headed appearance, marine iguanas are herbivores, feeding primarily on algae and seaweed.

Marine iguanas “sneeze out” excess salt their body collects while underwater through a nasal gland.

There are six very similar subspecies, each from different islands, with those from Isabela and Fernandina being the largest.

Marine iguanas are not very agile on land, but they are excellent swimmers propelled by laterally flattened tails.

No shade? No fresh water? No problem! As cold-blooded reptiles, their lives are governed solely by the cycles of the sun and moon, and they can be quite at home on a barely cooled new lava flow.

Voyage to the Galapagos Islands with us, and discover these marine iguanas along with some of the most biodiverse, weird, and wonderful nature you’re ever likely to see!