Marine Iguana

The Islands are also home to giant iguanas. One species, the Marine iguana, is the only aquatic lizard in the world. It probably arrived in the Galapagos on a raft of vegetation swept out to sea from its jungle home in Central America. When it arrived on the Galapagos Archipelago it had to quickly adapt to its barren new environment by learning to swim and even dive up to 30 feet to feed on the abundant seaweed. As a cold-blooded reptile, the coldness of the ocean presents a problem, so for much of the day they bask in the sun, their black skin acting like a thermal blanket, as they snort out excess salt through special nose glands.