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Galapagos Wildlife - Reptiles

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Galapagos Wildlife - Reptiles

They may look evil, vicious, even like something you would never want near your children, but Marine Iguanas are remarkably indifferent to your presence, very vegetarian, and you might even consider them for a quiet, hypo-alergenic family pet (if they were not a unique species in a protected environment). These lizards, which most likely share ancestors with their larger land dwelling cousins, have avoided the pressures of eating the limited vegetable resources on the islands. They have adapted themselves to gnaw algae off of the lava rocks close to shore. In order to digest their meal, they spend most of their days basking on rocks -- "cooking" their food after they have eaten it.
No animal is more synonymous with the Galapagos Islands than the giant tortoise. Indeed, the saddle-back shape of the shell in many of the tortoise races reminded the early Spaniards of a type of riding saddle called "galapago", and this term is also applied to the tortoises. Hence, by calling the islands the Galapagos, we are, in essence, calling them "The Islands of the Giant Tortoises"!, The giant tortoise is the symbol of both the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park Service. In the form of one particular individual, Lonesome George, the sole surviving member of the Pinta Island race, the giant tortoise is the symbol of extreme fragility of the Galapagos islands, and a reminder of the need for vigilence and conservation

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