Tiny ‘Godzillas’ Eating Underwater

These marine Iguanas at Cabo Marshall on the Galapagos Islands, look so prehistoric that they look like tiny Godzilla monsters. Good thing that their diet consist only of algae. The marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is an iguana found only on the Galapagos Islands that has the ability, unique among modern lizards, to forage in the sea, making it a marine reptile. The iguana can dive over 9 m (30 ft.) into the water. It has spread to all the islands in the archipelago, and is sometimes called the Galapagos marine iguana. It mainly lives on the rocky Galapagos shore to warm from the comparably cold water, but can also be spotted in marshes and mangrove beaches. The Marine Iguana is currently labeled as vulnerable in its conservation status. The iguana is only known to be living in the Galapagos Islands and its population has been gradually decreasing throughout the years. Since the environment in which they live didn’t have many natural predators they never developed the defenses needed to help protect them against new enemies. This lack of development makes them more vulnerable to attack and becoming ill due to new bacteria as these islands attract more and more people and animals from different parts of the world. Although it is unintentional, humans are one of the big threats to this species. The marine iguana has developed over time in a fairly safe environment and thus does not have a very strong immune system. This leads to a higher risk of the iguanas catching infections that they aren’t used to and that their bodies are equipped to protect against thus contributing to their endangerment.

Video by swinkworth