27 September 2011

Marine iguana, Isla Isabela, Galápagos

When I first saw marine iguanas at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, they struck me as much smaller than I'd expected. However, on arriving at Puerto Villamil on Isabela, I soon realised this perception wasn't right. On a walk at low tide along the rocky coast from the wharf back to town, I came across this massive iguana, notable not only for its size — a good metre long — but its lovely colours. I'd been charmed by the little iguanas on Santa Cruz, but for this one a word closer to "awestruck" seems more appropriate.

[13 September 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 234 mm, ISO 400, 1/1000 at f8]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor


Barbara Butler McCoy said...

Priceless!!! This guy is amazing and, I confess, he makes me laugh. Glad to hear your journey is going well. Take care.

Relatively Retiring said...

A wonderful portrait. You really couldn't make him up, could you - not even for Star Wars.....but, oh those claws!

butuki said...

I can't remember offhand, but aren't the marine iguanas different sizes on different islands?

The word, "Aloof", comes to mind. Or perhaps, "Smug"?

Zhoen said...

"Yeah? Whachoo lookin' at, punk?"

pohanginapete said...

Thanks everyone. Hard not to anthropomorphise during encounters like these. Miguel, I did later see very large marine iguanas at Tortuga Bay, back on Santa Cruz, so presumably the small individuals at Puerto Villamil were just youngsters. Apparently the Española race does differ in some respects from the iguanas on other islands, but I don't know much more than that.

lisanz said...

Wow! It scared me! But I would like to meet one. Please bring one home just for me. Love from Lizzy (hugs)

lisanz said...

I think it is saying Resistance is Futile! It looks as if it has armor on it. I can't believe it posed for the picture. Hope you are having a good trip love from Em xxoo

pohanginapete said...

Lizzy and Em, it's great to hear from you. Thanks!
    Lizzy, I don't think it would like being squashed into my bag, and besides, you'd have to take it for swims in the sea twice a day so it could eat seaweed (they're vegetarians). Maybe you'd like that, though?
    Em, resistance would be futile — just by looking at them you can tell how strong they are. The land iguanas look even more as if they're wearing armour (I'll show you some photos when I get back). I'm having a great journey and will soon be in Peru, where I will keep an eye out for the home for retired bears ;^)
    Love and hugs,
Pete :^)