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Marine Iguana

The marine iguana is a curious and unique creature that can be found inhabiting the rocky shores of the Galapagos Islands. These interesting animals can be recognized by their black and green coloring, and their remarkable ability to swim in the ocean. Marine iguanas are omnivorous, feeding on both plants and animals, which makes them a vital part of the Galapagos ecosystem. In this article, we will take a closer look at these fascinating creatures, exploring everything from their diet to their behavior. So if you’re curious about these quirky critters, keep reading!

Marine Iguana
Marine Iguana

Marine Iguana Description

Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) are large lizards that are native to the Galápagos Islands. They are the only species of iguana that lives in the ocean, and they can be found basking on rocks or swimming in the sea. Marine iguanas have dark green or black skin, which helps to camouflage them from predators. They can grow up to 1.5 meters in length, and they weigh up to 10 kilograms. Marine iguanas are herbivorous, and their diet consists mainly of algae. They are preyed upon by animals such as birds, snakes, and mammalian carnivores. Marine iguanas mate during the dry season, and females lay their eggs in nests on the beach. hatchlings emerge after about two months. Marine iguanas are considered to be endangered due to habitat loss and predation by introduced species. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these fascinating creatures.

Marine Iguana Habitat

Marine iguanas are found on the coasts of the Galapagos Islands. They are well-adapted to life in the marine environment and can be found sunning themselves on rocks or swimming in the sea. Marine iguanas feed mainly on algae, which they scrape off of rocks with their sharp claws. They are also able to dive to depths of up to 30 feet in order to find food. Marine iguanas are dark gray or black in color and have a row of spines down their back. They can reach lengths of up to 5 feet. Marine iguanas are solitary creatures and do not form social bonds. However, they will come together during mating season. Marine iguanas are under threat from introduced species, such as dogs and cats, which prey on them. They are also threatened by habitat loss and degradation. Marine iguanas are protected by law and their numbers are slowly increasing.

Marine Iguana Diet

Marine iguanas are unique among lizards in that they feed almost exclusively on seaweed. These reptiles are found only on the Galapagos Islands, where they often compete with seabirds for food. Marine iguanas primarily eat red and green algae, which they scrape off of rocks using their strong claws. They will also consume small invertebrates such as sea urchins and crabs. Marine iguanas have salt glands that allow them to excrete the salt they ingest from the seaweed. These glands are located near their nostrils and secrete a white substance that evaporates in the air. Marine iguanas are excellent swimmers and often dive into the ocean to feed. However, they must be careful to not stay underwater for too long, as they can easily become prey for predators such as sharks and whales.

Marine Iguana Size

Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) are unique creatures that are found exclusively on the Galapagos Islands. Marine iguanas are the largest of all iguana species, and they can grow up to 6 feet in length. While their size may be impressive, their diet is even more so. Marine iguanas are herbivorous, and they feed primarily on marine algae. In order to digest this tough vegetation, marine iguanas have a special gland that secretes a substance that breaks down the cellulose in the plants. Marine iguanas are also excellent swimmers, and they often spend time basking in the sun on the rocks near the shore. Their dark coloration helps to absorb heat, and this heat is used to regulate their body temperature. Marine iguanas are truly fascinating creatures, and they are an important part of the ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands.

Marine Iguana Image
Marine Iguana Image

Marine Iguana Lifespan

Marine iguanas are native to the Galapagos Islands and can be found on most of the archipelago’s volcanic islands. Marine iguanas are the largest lizards in the world, with some adults reaching up to six feet in length. Marine iguanas are black or dark green in color and have a flattened tail that helps them swim. Marine iguanas feed primarily on algae, which they scrape off of rocks in the intertidal zone. Marine iguanas have large eyes and sharp claws that help them grasp onto rocks in the waves. Marine iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to an hour while they feed. Marine iguanas typically live between 10 and 15 years in the wild. Marine iguanas are considered threatened due to introduced predators, human disturbance, and climate change. Marine iguana populations are monitored by the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galapagos National Park. You can help support marine iguana conservation by donating to these organizations.

Marine Iguana Behavior

Marine iguanas are interesting creatures that have behaviors which help them to adapt to their environment. One such behavior is how they regulate their body temperature. Marine iguanas are cold-blooded, so they rely on the sun to warm their bodies. To do this, they will often bask in the sun or swim close to the surface of the water where the sun can reach them. Another way they regulate their body temperature is by regulating their heart rate. When it is cold, their heart rate will slow down in order to conserve energy. When it is hot, their heart rate will increase in order to cool themselves through evaporative cooling. Marine iguanas also have a third eyelid, which helps to protect their eyes from the bright glare of the sun and salt water. Overall, these behaviors help marine iguanas to thrive in their environment.

Marine Iguana Speed

Marine iguanas are some of the slowest moving animals on the planet. They are found on the Galapagos Islands and can grow up to six feet in length. Marine iguanas are excellent swimmers and spend most of their time in the ocean, grazing on seaweed. They are very shy creatures and will often be seen basking in the sun on the rocks. Marine iguanas are not known for their speed, but they can reach speeds of up to eight miles per hour when necessary. When Marine iguanas are threatened, they will often flee into the water where they can use their speed to escape predators. Marine iguanas are fascinating creatures that play an important role in their ecosystem.

Marine Iguana Hunting

Marine iguanas are one of the most popular reptiles among hunters. They are relatively easy to find and tend to be large, making them an ideal target for those looking to add a trophy to their collection. Marine iguanas are also a Delicious culinary delicacy, prized for their lean, white meat. In addition to being a tasty treat, marine iguana meat is also said to have health benefits, as it is high in protein and low in fat. As a result, it is no wonder that these creatures are so popular among hunters.


Marine iguanas are an incredible species that have adapted to live in some of the harshest environments on Earth. They are a vital part of the Galapagos ecosystem and should be protected for future generations. If you’re interested in learning more about these fascinating creatures, please visit our website or contact us for more information.

Frequently Asked Question


Yes, marine iguanas can stop a heart. Their saliva is toxic and can cause cardiac arrest.


Yes, marine iguanas spit salt. They have a gland on their nose that excretes salt, and they use their tongues to flick it into the air. This helps them regulate their body temperature and protect themselves from predators.


There are currently about 1.5 million marine iguanas in the world. They can be found in large colonies on Galapagos Islands, as well as on the coasts of Peru and Ecuador. They are considered to be a vulnerable species due to their declining population size.


If you are ever bitten by a marine iguana, it is important to clean the wound and seek medical attention if necessary. Marine iguanas can carry a variety of bacteria in their mouths, so it is important to clean the wound thoroughly. You may also want to take antibiotics to help prevent infection.


No. Marine iguanas can survive freezing because they have a high concentration of glucose in their blood and tissues. Glucose functions as an antifreeze, allowing the animals to remain frozen without suffering the damaging effects of ice crystals forming in their cells.
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