The marine iguana of the Galapagos Islands. This iguana was quite comfortable posing for me.
They are big.
Note the evolved nostrils. These creatures feed off of the algae on the rocks in the ocean, able to hold their breathe for up to 30 minutes. But while they eat the ingest sea water and salt. The nostrils are specially developed to expel salt.
It is a life and death type environment, as they are cold blooded as they swim – the ocean saps the heat from their bodies weakening them. To survive, they spend hours basking in the sun, building up the warmth to go swimming again.
Charles Darwin took a step down in my mind when our guide told us that he tied one of these magnificent creatures to a rock under water to see how long it could survive. He came back an hour later and it was still alive. A reflection of the callous approach and values with regard to the world in those days.
Beautiful creature. I highly recommend watching BBC Galapagos. Great insight into the islands.
Stunning photos! I had no idea how big they were! Looks like a beautiful trip!
Thanks. Yes, they can get very big – this one was the largest that we saw, and it was amazing how completely comfortable they were around humans. I put my 28-300mm lens quite close to his head to take that last shot (18 inches) and it did not bother him a bit.
Beautiful, You had surely lots of time to take them in picture as they keep the posture for long time.. 🙂
Gilles, they were like statues. And when they did move, it was with a slow swing.