-The government of Ecuador has made laws to protect the marine iguanas.
-Artificial nesting sites have been set up on smaller islands away from predators because it is too difficult and would take too long to get rid of the predators on the islands where they have been introduced.
-It has been discovered that marine iguanas shrink in length and then regrow when food becomes plentiful again. Part of their backbone shrinks.
-Adult iguanas can switch between growth and shrinkage repeatedly throughout their lifetime.
-Oil spills and other marine pollution are serious threats to marine iguanas, especially because they live in such a small area.
Learn more about the Galapagos marine iguana - with amazing Galapagos marine iguana videos, photos and facts on ARKive
Karen Lii's insight:
-This species is also sensitive to environmental fluctuations caused by El Nino
-Oil spills and marine pollution are also very serious threats as they destroy food reserves and the nesting beaches.
-A recent oil spill from an Ecuadorian tanker in January 2001 spilled millions of litres of oil and fuel into the waters of the Galapagos Islands. In the following year, around 15,000 iguanas on the Island of Santa Fe alone died; over 60 percent of the entire island population.
-Iguanas can increase their reproduction rate when population densities are low
- in March 1998, a 133,000 km⊃2; area was designated as the Galapagos Marine Reserve, making it one of the world’s largest protected areas.
-Scientists believe the oil may have killed the bacteria that the iguanas need to help digest algae
-The Galapagos Islands have long been studied and protected
Learn all you wanted to know about marine iguanas with pictures, videos, photos, facts, and news from National Geographic.
Karen Lii's insight:
-They're not pretty, with their wide-set eyes, smashed-in faces, spiky dorsal scales, and knotty, salt-encrusted heads. But what these unusual creatures lack in looks they make up for with their amazing and unique ecological adaptations
-Scientists figure that land-dwelling iguanas from South America must have drifted out to sea millions of years ago on logs or other debris, eventually landing on the Galápagos
-Look fierce, but are actually gentle herbivores, surviving exclusively on underwater algae and seaweed. Their short, blunt snouts and small, razor-sharp teeth help them scrape the algae off rocks.
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