Green Iguana

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Two green iguanas (Iguana iguana) rest on the banks of the Sarapiqui River. Along with the black ctenosaurs from my earlier post, green iguanas are among the most renown lizards in the New World. They are heavy and dinosaurian, with a row of cactus-like spines protruding from the dorsum and a distinct subtympanic shield. Surprisingly, iguanas are able to withstand falls upwards of 10-15 meters, an incredible feat for animals of their size and weight. At the La Selva bridge I often heard them crashing through the trees and falling into the river. For the longest time I kept wondering what these noises came from, until I finally saw the inelegant plummet of a large lizard. Iguanas are also champions of the water, using their long tail crest for propulsion, and they can stay submerged underwater for almost thirty minutes. It’s not surprising that their marine relatives in the Galapagos have become so adept at a semiaquatic lifestyle.

All photographed in situ [1]

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