Galapagos Day 2: Marine iguanas

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Charles Darwin was amazed when he saw marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristataus) during his visit in September, 1835, which are remarkably adapted for the marine environment. “It is a hideous-looking creature, of a dirty black color, stupid, and sluggish in its movements,” he wrote of them. Black like the lava rocks where they live at the edge of the sea, they subsist almost entirely on marine algae. They deal with excess salt from the marine environment by ejecting concentrated salty fluid from their nostrils.

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