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Marine Iguana

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Marine Iguana

Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), is a species of scaly reptile in the family Iguanidae. It is the only species in its genus, which is related to the genus of land iguanas and more closely to the genus Conolophus. It is found only in the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Ecuador. It is an endemic species to the region, which means that it is not found anywhere else in the world.

This unique animal is the only marine lizard in the world and can also dive to depths of 25 meters and remain in the water for just over 10 minutes, after which it returns to land to warm up. It can often be seen basking on top of bare lava, reaching a body temperature of about 35.5°C.

Regarding its size, the marine iguana is one of the largest lizards that exist, being able to reach a length of up to 1.5 meters. Males are usually larger than females and have a more pronounced dorsal crest.

Its diet is mainly herbivorous, consuming algae and other marine phanerogams. They may also occasionally eat small crustaceans and mollusks. Due to its diet, the marine iguana has developed very strong and sharp jaws to be able to tear algae from underwater rocks.

In the Anthropocene, the marine iguana has suffered a population decline due to human presence in the Galapagos Islands. The introduction of exotic species such as goats, rats and cats have directly affected their habitat and diet. Furthermore, overfishing and water pollution have also had a negative impact on their survival. Despite this, conservation and protection efforts have helped keep its population stable in recent years. The marine iguana is an iconic species of the Galapagos Islands and is important for the region's ecosystem, so it is essential to continue working on its preservation and conservation.

The Model Pose represents a specimen of Marine Iguana sunning itself to reach the right temperature after having submerged in search of the algae on which it feeds.

Approximate measurements of the Marine Iguana:

  • Scale 1:16 - 81 x 62 x 52 mm H