Marine Iguana facts, diet, characteristics, habitat, venom, bite

Here is the detailed information of marine iguana scientific name, category, average lifespan, characteristics, facts, habitat, diet, venom, reproduction, bite etc. Scroll this page down to get more details about this.

Marine Iguana

Marine iguana is a species of iguana that found only on the Galapagos Islands (in Ecuador). The species is also known as the saltwater iguana, sea iguana, or Galapagos marine iguana. The appearance of the species may differ on the various islands and several subspecies are recognized.

What is Marine Iguana

The species evolved from a common ancestor since arriving on the islands from Central or South America, supposed by rafting. The different marine iguana population falls into three main clades: western islands, northern islands, and southern islands.
Scientific Name Amblyrhynchus cristatus
Other Name Saltwater Iguana, Sea Iguana, Galapagos Marine Iguana
Category Lizard
Size 4-5 ft
Average Lifespan 5-12 years
Conservation Status Vulnerable

Marine Iguana Characteristics

The iguana species have the thickest body and relatively short, robust limbs. Adults have a row of spines extending from the nape, along with the back to the tail. Males have the longer spines and larger bony plates on the top of their head than females. The length of these iguanas is typically ranging 12-56 cm in snout-to-vent length and tail length about 17-84 cm. The maximum weight of adult males ranges from 1-12 kg.

Marine Iguana Care

Yet, nobody has got the success to kept these ultra-specialized lizards outside their native turf. They are dependent on the unique maritime conditions or habitat and eating algae in the ocean which cannot be duplicated in the captivity. They actually dive beneath the surface to rasp algae from rocks.

Marine Iguana Facts

  • The iguana species are famous reptiles on the Galapagos Islands.
  • They have the wide-set eyes, smashed in faces, and spiky dorsal scales.
  • This species of the iguana is actually herbivores.
  • They have the long claws and sharp for climbing on rocks.
  • They have the special glands that clean their blood of extra salt, which they ingest while feeding.
  • This iguana species have the average lifespan about 5-12 years in the wild.

Marine Iguana Habitat

The male iguanas from this species can dive as deep as 30 m and spend up to one hour underwater. When diving to 7m or deeper, they maintain submerged from 15 to more than 30 min. These species found throughout the Galapagos islands but nowhere else in the world which makes them yet another endemic creature of the Galapagos Isles.

Marine Iguana Diet

The iguana species forage almost exclusively on red and green algae in inter and subtidal zones. The algal diet varies in accordance with the algal abundance, preferences, and foraging behavior. Most of the females and small males feed on exposed algae in the intertidal zone during low tide, retreating once the water returns and starting washing over them.

Marine Iguana Venom

This species of iguana is not dangerous and are not afraid of humans either. These iguanas don’t have the glands to produce the venom in their body. You have to handle this species with care and rough handling or too much handling may do uncomfortable them.

Marine Iguana Reproduction

The female species of these iguanas reach sexual maturity at the age of 3-5 years while the males get it at the age of 6-8 years. The species age can reach up to 60 years while the average age of these species is about only 12 years. After a month of mating, the female lays 1-6 eggs and mostly two or three. The eggs hatch after about 2-4 months and got no parental protection from the father (male) or (female).

Marine Iguana Bite

The species of iguanas are the only modern lizards that can forage in the sea. They scrape algae off rocks in the intertidal zone. Their flat faces help them gobble up more algae with each bite. These have the sharp claws that can easily scratch the human skin and do damage.

Marine Iguana As Pet

This iguana species is not considered as the pet. Because the species can thrive only in the unique conditions of maritime. The species is feeding on the algae in the ocean that can’t be set up in the captivity. So, you have to drop your idea of kept this species as your pet. You can go for other species of iguana to get as the pet.

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