Marine Iguanas were one of the top attractions for me in wanting to go to Galápagos: maybe even the top single attraction, apart from the 'entire experience'. I was delighted to find that they're not only numerous but also extremely approachable.
Sadly, it was difficult to make good photos of them, partly because it was difficult getting them separated from each other, and partly because it was difficult getting separation between them and the dark lava backgrounds!
(Oh, and you're not allowed, by park regulations, to use flash)
Both of these tended to be particular problems on Fernandina where the sub-species is the least coloured, but where the breeding grounds hold huge numbers, who don't seem to mind all piling up on each other.
Marine Iguanas are the only marine lizards in the world, and they are only found on the Galápagos islands. They swim by undulating their long tails. According to Charles Darwin, an adult male survived for an hour underwater. The big males go underwater to graze on algae: towards the end of the week, I was overjoyed to find myself snorkelling directly over one.
However, they can also graze algae in the inter-tidal zone. Their scientific name, Amblyrhynchus means 'blunt-nosed'. Their blunt nose helps them get closer to the rocks from which they crop the algae, and their teeth seem almost conical, all the better to graze with.
P. Baquerizo M'o
Giant Prickly Pear
Farewell dinner '05
Life on Board
> Marine Iguanas
Seen en route