The eye of a Galápagos iguana 12 Apr 2017
About this photo
Galápagos iguanas ventured to the area of the archipelago before the Galápagos Islands existed. Hear us out with this one. Evolving roughly 8 million years ago, they lived on volcanic rocks that are now submerged in the Pacific Ocean. They share a common ancestor with the land iguana and the two remain mutually fertile.
Evolutionary traits that allow the Galápagos iguana to explore and survive include stronger legs and claws for gripping onto rocks, flatter tails to aid swimming, denser and heavier limb bones for diving to depths of up to 9-metres and excretory glands, which expel excess salt taken in by eating marine algae. Catch sight of the marine iguanas on any of Insight Guides’ trips to the Galaápagos.