An unusual representative of reptiles lives in the Galapagos Islands. Most of the lizards we know prefer to inhabit forests, mountains, deserts, but among the 3000 species, only one – the Galapagos marine iguana – can be considered a real marine animal. Although its appearance does not meet model standards, it is ideally suited for survival on volcanic shores.
Unlike other iguanas, the marine iguana has a huge tail flattened from the sides and membranes between the fingers. With such an upgrade, the lizard swims perfectly, bending its body from side to side. To prevent excess of sea salt from creating discomfort, it has special glands on the head to release fluid.
These reptiles are not only excellent swimmers, but also divers. At the bottom, they eat aquatic vegetation, protect themselves from predators and escape from heat. Iguanas can hold their breath for an hour under water. In order to save oxygen, in this case the blood feeds only the vital organs.
Iguanas never leave the coast, staying close to the water in family groups. Each of them is led by an old male. He zealously guards the site not only from uninvited guests, but also from young applicants, with whom, like a ram, he begins to butt in any attempt to encroach on his harem.
While the males fight for power, the females compete among themselves for sandy areas, which are very few in the islands. The fertility of iguanas is low, only one to three eggs per year. Therefore, it is necessary to oust all “rivals” and give their seed a grow.