The Galapagos Marine Iguana is the only marine Iguana species in the world with the ability to hunt and swim in the ocean. Within the Galapagos islands, six subspecies exist of varying sizes, although most are black for the majority of the year. Uniquely, during the breeding season (January to March) the Galapagos marine iguana will change colours, from black to hues of brilliant yellow, green, and red. This species is highly adapted to the ocean, with the ability to swim down many meters to forage on algae on the seafloor and hold their breath for up to an hour. Like the Green sea turtle, this species has a unique way of excreting the built-up saltwater in their system. Rather than crying, this species literally sneezes our the saltwater.
Marine iguanas have razer sharp teeth to help them bite off algae from rocks. *Only the large mammals dive down for food, and they can reach depths down to 65 feet *During harsh conditions and limited food supply, these species may shrink up to 20 percent of their full size to survive. * The heart rate of the marine iguana can drop up to 50 percent in order to reduce energy expenditure