The marine iguana is an animal with an interesting life. For example, this critter has a complex body structure that helps it survive its environment.
One of the many unique features of the marine iguana is its skin. To prevent getting gashed by rocks, its skin is very tough. Although the iguana's skin is tough, it can also peel off and be eaten by crabs. Marine iguanas can also change their black skin to red and green during breeding season. Additionally, this iguana has a crest made of spikes that adorns it from head to tail.
Because of its proximity to large bodies of water, the marine iguana takes a lot of salt water into its system. It then uses its nose to get rid of the salt water, through a gland that is connected to its nostril.
Marine iguanas are only found in the Galapagos, which are volcanic islands near Ecuador in South America. This animal inhabits a small area between volcanic rocks and the eastern Pacific Ocean.
These aquatic iguanas eat seaweed close to shores, and they often can dive into waters to catch and eat small animals. While swimming, they can make their hearts beat as slowly as five times a minute to save oxygen. Marine iguanas can stay underwater for up to an hour. Then, they need to heat up their bodies after coming out of the water—otherwise they won’t be able to digest food.
Though they are relatively small, marine iguanas can get very aggressive during breeding seasons, especially the males, who fight with each other for territory. These fights can at times even last up to an hour.
The marine iguana may have a hard life, but it is built to survive in its tough aquatic environment!
[Source: Snakes and Reptiles]