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New giant tortoise species discovered in the Galapagos Islands

Perhaps no better case can be made for adaptation than the marine iguana! Just about everything about this ancient lizard points to evolution at its finest.

Fact Sheet

  • Species Name: Amblyrhynchus cristatus
  • Size at maturity: 4 to 5 ft
  • Weight: 1 to 3.3 lbs
  • Population: 200,000-300,000 (on the rise)
  • Status: Vulnerable
  • Range: Endemic to Galapagos Islands
  • Threats: El Niño (atmospheric event that wipes out much of their food source); Cats (introduced by man); Hawks, herons, birds (only a threat to young iguanas)
  • Lifespan: 5-12 years

Appearance: Black, red (at maturity) scaly skin

Conservation Efforts

While their population is booming at around 200,000-300,000, the National Park is still wary of events like El Niño that could kill off huge portions of the population. Careful efforts are taken to not disturb their natural habitats.