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There are two species of land iguana found in the Galapagos Islands - Conolophus subcristatus is native to six islands, and Conolophus pallidus is found only on the island of Santa Fe. They are large (over 1 metre long), yellowish animals, with males weighing up to 13 kilograms. Galapagos iguanas are thought to have had a common ancestor which floated out to the islands from the South American mainland on rafts of vegetation.
They live in the drier areas of the islands and in the mornings are found sprawled beneath the hot equatorial sun. However, to escape the heat of the midday sun, they seek the shade of cactus, rocks, trees or other vegetation. At night they sleep in burrows dug in the ground, to conserve their body heat. The land iguanas show a fascinating interaction with Darwin's finches, raising themselves off the ground and allowing the little birds to remove ticks.
Land iguanas feed mainly on low-growing plants and shrubs, such as the cactus, as well as fallen fruits and cactus pads. These succulent plants provide them with the moisture they require during long, dry periods.
Land iguanas reach maturity between 8 and 15 years of age. Males are territorial and will aggressively defend specific areas, that typically include more than one female. Following the mating period, the female iguanas migrate to suitable areas to nest, and will lay between 2 and 25 eggs in a burrow dug in the sandy soil. The female defends the burrow for a short time, to prevent other females from nesting in the same place. The young iguanas hatch 3-4 months later, and take about a week to dig their way out of the nest. If they survive the first difficult years of life, when food is often scarce and predators are a danger, land iguanas can live for more than 50 years.
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- [2014-02-07 11:23]
Hi Manyee,fantastic capture as your last,the detail and the colors are truly perfect,it's nice to watch how is strange and curious its skin! Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano
powerful portrait, indeed! Well approached, and perfectly framed. A very attractive documentation in precious colours of ochre from an adventurous trip, a pleasure to see.
With thanks, and best regards,