Sunday, April 25, 2010

One if by land, two if by sea!

Lizards, lizards, lizards! We saw so many lizards. Here are three of the lizards that inhabit the Galapagos Islands
Land iguana--found on Santa Cruz island, Dragon Hill. We saw about a dozen land iguanas in this area. They are not nearly as ubiquitous as the marine iguanas are, and they are somewhat more secretive and skittish than the marine variety. The males have large spikes and the females have shorter spikes, that is the determining factor on the sexes. Land iguans graze on leaves and vegetation, their snouts are more pointed than the marine iguanas. One male was eating by the trail, and another was lurking in the bushes about 10 feet away. We guessed it was a female, jealous of all the attention he was getting, she charged out of the bushes at us, and scared us all off! Very interesting behavior!
Notice the color difference in this marine iguana from the ones on Fernandina Island, this one was on Espanola (Hood) Island. These are much more colorful, with red, green, blue, tan coming through the black and grey. The females were distingushed by the fact that most of them were covered with dust or sand, from digging their nests. There was one nesting ground where 40 females were all digging, it was amazing to watch!
This is a lava lizard, seen on all islands, but each island seemed to have a different coloration. All females have red throats.

Reptiles rule at Galapagos!

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