Drew Haines is a young Canadian expat living in Ecuador. She writes the Galapagos for Kids series on Red Mangrove Blog. Learn about the Galapagos from a kids perspective.
I really like the marine iguanas; they look like dead dragons when they are just lying around on the beach. It’s neat that they snort salt, they do that so that they can get out all the salt they drink when eating the green algae under the sea. We saw a little group all piled on top of each other and it was so funny to see them snorting the salt through their nose!
But they also have predators. When people get near them they won’t even move, but when a predator that they recognize (like the Galapagos Hawk) comes near them they can really run. The Galapagos Hawk has it easy preying on nesting females. When we were watching a video about the Galapagos Islands it showed a Galapagos Hawk preying on a female marine iguana. And as the hawk was trying to catch the poor iguana, the iguana just kept on running. It looked like the hawk was riding the iguana. It was really weird: kind of sad and funny at the same time!
During mating season the males change color from a boring black to really, really bright colors of greens, reds and oranges.
They get together in very big groups, 20 or more at a time! While mom and dad filmed a little group of marine iguanas, this little cute finch came up on top of an iguana and started picking in between its scales! It was super cute and a little gross too!
If I Were a Marine Iguana, I Would:
- Stay away from the dogs, cats and the Galapagos Hawks.
- Always stay in my burrow while nesting and make my male bring me my food!
- Jump out and scare all the tourists .
- Let the Ghost Crabs and the finches clean my back!
- Allow the Lava lizards to keep all the flies off me.
- Be sure to always have my daily swim in the ocean with my little babies.
- Have my daily sun-tanning on the hot lava rocks along with my fellow marine iguana friends.
- Bring my umbrella when I tan, so my friends don’t get me sticky and salty when they sneeze on me .
So to me, the marine iguanas are funny, salty and cute.
I hope you can make it to Galapagos and see the marine iguanas for yourselves. (I think you will love them!)