The Iguanids


Marine Iguana - Amblyrhyncus cristatus Family: Iguanidae
Genus: Amblyrhyncus
Species: cristatus
Range: Galapagos Islands

Amblyrhyncus cristatus is the lone member of the genus, and is neither suitable nor available for captive keeping. However, the marine iguana remains a species of interest among iguanid enthusiasts, so it has been included here.

The marine iguana lives along the coastlines of the Galapagos Islands. It is a very large iguanid, not growing as long as the common Iguana iguana (giant green iguana) and its body has a heavier, stockier appearance. A. cristatus varies in color from a dark gray to red, is laterally compressed, has a dorsal crest lined with long spines, and a rather short and blunt snout. The marine iguana obtains most of its food underwater, diving as deep as 15 meters for kelp, algae, and other marine plants. Like all members of the family Iguanidae, this animal is completely herbivorous.

Listed under C.I.T.E.S. Appendix II (nearly threatened with extinction).