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Marine Iguana

Marine Iguana
Photo Information
Copyright: Selen Ediger (SelenE) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-25
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Hoya 77mm Super-HMC CPL MCPRO1
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-03-26 0:11
Viewed: 9457
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Marine Iguana
Amblyrhynchus cristatus
Subspecies:A. c. hassi
Endemic (found only in Galapagos)
Red List Status: Vulnerable

The marine iguana Amblyrhynchus cristatus is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. A. c. hassi is found on Santa Cruz Island and Caamaño Islet. Extent of occurrence is estimated at less than 100 km² and area of occupancy at less than 10 km². In January 2000 there was extensive contamination of habitat by a diesel oil/bunker fuel spill. The longer-term effects of this spill are unknown. There is ongoing predation by introduced species.

The total population is estimated at between 6,000–10,000 individuals and is currently stable.

Natural Selection and Evolution
"New species have come on the stage slowly and at successive intervals; and the amount of change, after intervals of time, is widely different in different groups. The extinctions of species and of whloe groups of species, which has played so conspicuous a part in the history of the organic world, almost inevitable follows on the principle of natural selection; for old forms will be supplanted by new and improved forms."
Charles Darwin,
Origin of Species, 1859

The Galapagos Marine Iguana is the world’s only sea-going lizard, and is found on all of the main islands. There are 7 races or subspecies which vary considerably in size and colour from island to island. The males are larger and more brightly colored than females. They are largely black or dark grey. However, the male take on a red or green tinge during the mating season. Some races look to have lichens growing on them, such are the variations in their skin color. Marine iguanas have a pronounced crest which is most prominent on the head but runs all the way down their back and tail.

Because it is ectothermic, or cold-blooded, and yet feeds in the cool waters of the Humboldt and Cromwell currents, it must warm up by basking in the sun on the black lava rocks, but before and after feeding trips. To avoid overheating, which would occur if its body temperature exceeded 35c, it varies its position in relation to the sun, often facing directly into it to reduce its exposure.

The Marine Iguana lives largely on land but it feeds inshore and in the intertidal zone at depths of up to about 10 m. It feeds almost entirely on red and green algae but it is also known to consume its own faeces as well as those of sea lions and crabs. This diet results in a high intake of salt. To eliminate this excess of salt, they spit out brine through their nostrils. This snorting is the only noise that they make.

Subspecies and the Islands
A.c. cristatus -Fernandina
A. c. hassi - Santa Cruz
A. c. albemarlensis – Isabela (largest in size)
A.c. mertensi - Santiago

Type: Reptile
Diet: Herbivore
Average lifespan in the wild: 5 to 12 years
Size: 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m)
Weight: 1 to 3.3 lbs (.5 to 1.5 kg)
Did you know?: Marine iguanas sneeze frequently to expel salt from glands near their nose. The salt often lands on their heads, giving them a distinctive white wig.
Protection status: Threatened
National Geographic

*Wildlife of the Galapagos
Julian Fitter,Daniel Fitter,David Hosking
Princeton Pocketguides, ISBN 0-691-10295-3

*Galapagos: Ocean, Earth, Wind & Fire
Jonathan R. Green

*The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin

rcrick, Miss_Piggy, nglen, maurydv, boreocypriensis, rousettus, tasos, Argus, Luis52, matatur, bahadir, egeerhan, marhowie, Necipp has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Selen,
Wonderful shot of this marine iguana, love the low POV, amazing detail, perfect d.o.f with good separation between foreground and background, very nice work, all the best Cheers Rick :)

Hallo Selen
I do not have much knowledge about reptiles like snakes, lizards and iguana's and because of that I prefer not to give my comments on these kinds of postings. I can however not let this beauty pass without me adding my little comment for what it is worth. A well composed image with good and clear details. I especially find the eyes very eye-catching in this image, and the texture of the skin is very captivating. The greenery emphasise the dark colour and the detail of the Iguana even more. A splendid portrait indeed. Trek Nature is indeed a very motivating and most educational site. Not a day will pass that I don't see or learn something new. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-03-26 1:00]

Hi Selen. This is a very good close up of the Iguana. You have captured fine detail and colour. a good low POV. well done TFS.

Merhaba Selen,
very sharp image of the Iquana with perfect sharpness, beautiful colour and details in the shot
very well done and thanks for the notes
well done

Bellissima immagine, ottimi POV e DOF, un ritratto e una composizione "dolce", molto buona la nitidezza e molto belli i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Günaydın Selen Hanım,
Harika ve evrimsel açıdan da önemli bir tür, Deniz Iguanası ya da Deniz Kertenkelesi. Galapagos'a da gitmişsiniz ne güzel. Hakkaten Dünyalı'ymışsınız:) Tebrik ederim pul detaylarına kadar her şey net. Elinize sağlık. Teşekkürler...

merhaba Selen hanım,
bu eski dostu tekrar görmek ne güzel. keskin detaylar, alan derinliği, arka plan, kompozisyon, ışık kullanımı ve renkleriyle nefis bir çekim olmuş. elinize sağlık. selamlar.
bir dahaki gelişte haber vereceğim (Mogan için)

  • Great 
  • tasos Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 11 W: 0 N: 14] (167)
  • [2008-03-26 3:43]

Hi Selen,
Very nice capture of the marine iguana.Nice details and composition. Excellent note too!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-03-26 6:37]

Hello Selen,
This is not the most beautiful creature in the world but it seems to have a benevolent expression, certainly in thhis fine capture. This is an excellent close portrait of the Marine Iguana taken with fine sharpness and from a superb POV. The composition is also great against the OOF natural green BG, with which it contrasts well. The details and lighting are extraordinary, especially the catchlight in the eye and the salt 'wig' on the head.
Great picture and note and thanks for sharing them,
Best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-03-26 7:06]

Hi Selen,
Wonderful shot of this Marine Iguana with amazing sharpness and clarity on its scales and the sheen on them from the harsh lighting which has been controlled well. Nice expression and a noble look on its eye. I like the natural green surrounding and your chosen POV to portray it. Very nicely composed too. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-03-26 8:25]

Hola Selen.
Interesante la nota escrita sobre esta Iguana de los Galapagos. La foto bien lograda por su nitidez se aprecian finos detalles.
Saludos Selen.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-03-26 9:42]

Hello Selen,
A typical photo of the Galapagos. The sharpness and details are perfect. Evenso the low POV. Beautiful natural colours. Great OOF BG.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-03-26 10:36]

Merhaba Selen hanım enfes bir poz olmuş ellerinize sağlık.

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2008-03-26 11:37]

First of all thank you for visiting my gallery and your kind words on my photos.
I love this image. There so much detail on this iguana. The soft BG really bring out the contrast on the iguana. Perfect sharpness and clarity. Composition is great. Colors and light are well balanced. Thank so much I really enjoyed it. Bring back memories for me when I was there 6 years ago. I may post some images from there. Unfortunately, I only have film camera at the time, I scanned them but not as sharp as I like.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-03-26 12:12]

Wow!!! How sharp can you get?!
Really stunning clarity and superb detail.
Nice composition as well.
Great lighting and colours.
Superb work Selen!


A very strong portrait in fine detail and coloration among those finely represented succulent and halophilic looking plants Selen, Thank you for showing us this rare and vulnerable reptile my friend.

Hello Selen,
Never seen before...
Funny fellow with such a small head.
Wonderful animal. Great image.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-03-26 15:14]

Hello Selen, great subject, nicely composed image, great details, very good exposure and I like the blurred background. Well done, thanks!


Selam Selen Hanım çok güzel bir kare. Elinize sağlık.

Sandıktan bir fotograf derinlik netlik renkler güzel olmuş. ellerine saglık Selen

Very nice closeup comp Selen - And he looks like he's smiling for the camera :}
Excellent detail, color, exposure, and DOF isolating the subject in the frame well.

Merhaba Selen, perfect dof w/ wonderful sharp detail in the skin of this beautiful iguana. Excellent bg blur really makes the lizard stand out. Good composition and I like the light w/ the nice sharp catchlight in the eye. eline saglik Selamlar Necip

Hello Selen,
A fine portrait with this - apparently - happy fellow!
Sharp fine details in the iguana, DOF spot on and well done on the composition...
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-04-01 7:04]

Hello Selen

Exceptional clarity.The textures of the skin are super.
Who says the dinosaurs are extinct?
Very good eye detail and catchlight.
The colours are very good.


  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2008-04-01 16:30]

Hi Selen,
Very good capture! Amazing detail and sharpness, great POV.

Hi Selen,
Amazing the different looks of Marine Iguanas from island to island!



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