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Marine Iguana

March 21, 2022

The Marine Iguana is surprisingly a fantastic reptile that loves swimming. Marine Iguanas love hanging around the water shores, and they sneeze a lot. They live exclusively on the Galapagos Island, and they are the only lizards that shrink in size during tough times.

Here is more information that will expand your knowledge about this incredible swimming lizard. 

Facts about Marine Iguana

  • Marine Iguanas live primarily on rocks of open shores.
  • They can live for up to 60 years, but the average is 12 years or less.
  • They have a length of 12 to 56 cm.
  • Marine Iguanas weigh from 0.5kg to 12kg.
  • Marine Iguanas can dive 30m deep and stay in water for one hour.
  • They swim slowly at 1.6km per second.
  • Marine Iguanas turn to the rainbow colors during the mating seasons.
  • They are polygamous in nature. Male Marine Iguanas fight aggressively to secure a mate.
  • Females attain sexual maturity at age 3 to 5, males at age 6 to 8.
  • Their breeding season is from December to March, and nesting season is from January to April. Females lay 1 to 6 eggs in burrows of sand next to thousands of other Marine Iguanas. The eggs hatch within 89 to 120 days and the baby Iguanas dig themselves out of the nest. The babies then move down to the intertidal zones for food.  

Fun Facts about the Marine Iguana

  • Unlike Land Iguanas that live exclusively on land, Marine Iguanas live on land but have learned swimming. Marine Iguanas forage on seafood, so swimming is their essential skill.
  • Marine Iguanas have sharp teeth for sawing off tough seaweed from rocks underwater.
  • These reptiles can only be found on Galapagos Islands.
  • They are black in color to help them absorb more sun. This keeps their bodies warm.
  • After swimming in the ocean, they spit salt to expel sea salt from their bodies.
  • Marine Iguanas shrink in size during scarcity to help them feed less without being malnourished.
  • Marine Iguanas are endangered because they have many predators such as hawks and snakes that hunt them in large numbers.


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