1. Nathan says

    @Olav: It’s just a dark lizard. Click the image for the big version, and you’ll see it’s a fine picture with lots of detail.

  2. says

    Hah! You call that a Marine iguana?
    More like a goddam worm.

    Looks like weasel beaked momma’s boy liberal to me.
    I wouldn’t give that girlyBoy two days outside the green zone.

    Marine my ass.

    Semper Fi

  3. LisaJ says

    Nice. That thing’s huge. I saw my first wild iguanas in Costa Rica this summer, and your guy wins hands down.

  4. SEF says

    Did you manage to resist the temptation(?) to copy Darwin in chasing them around the rocks and chucking them into the ocean?

  5. Duvenoy says

    Iguanids are remarkable animals, ranging in size from innoculous, little anoles to 7’+ giants. This is one of my favorites, although I’ve never seen one in the flesh. Someday…..

    Thanks for the image!


  6. Mikel says

    When I click to see the larger image, I only get a screen-sized view of the tail end…

  7. Sven DiMilo says

    Duvenoy (@#11): The old Family Iguanidae has been busted apart. Marine igs and their herbivorous kin (including the desert iguana and chuckwallas of North America) now have the Iguanidae (sensu novo) to themselves.
    But hell, yes: remarkable animals all!

  8. asad says

    @ Mikel #12: You can use the arrow keys to scroll the picture (at least I can, on a PC using Firefox).

  9. --PatF in Madison says

    @ Mikel #12:
    If you right click on the image and choose “Open Link in New Window” you should be able to get a window that scrolls.

    (The arrows work, too.)

  10. Doug says

    Is the tail of the marine iguana longer and larger, in proportion to its body, than the land iguana?
    States that Galapagos Islands land iguanas can be over 1 meter and weigh 13 kilograms.
    Adult males are approximately 1.3 m long, females 0.6 m, males weigh up to 1.5 kg

    And they have shrinkage! Thought to be the only vertebrates to shrink. From the wikipedia article:

    Marine iguanas have also been found to change their size to adapt to varying food conditions. During El Niño conditions when the algae that the iguanas feed on was decreased for a period of two years, some were found to decrease their length by as much as 20%. When food conditions returned to normal, the iguanas returned to their pre-famine size. It is speculated that the bones of the iguanas actually shorten as a shrinkage of connective tissue could only account for a 10% length change.

    See also:

  11. Sili says

    Please! People have already told you this!

    It’s “Click to embiggenate”, not “Click for larger image”.

    Shhssss, biologists.

  12. Porky Pine says


    That’s a rather personal question!

    For those of you that can’t get down to the Galapagos, I’d recommend [url=]Galpagos[/url]

    It’s available in DVD/Blu-ray and HD-DVD (For those of you that are into defunct video formats) ;)

  13. says

    Anyone know if these iguanas sneeze at night?

    They sneeze during daytime to expel concentrated salts from the marine algae consumed.

    I think their explosive sneezes are triggered by looking at direct sunlight, while warming on the shore. Solar powered sneezing occurs in 20% of humans, and may also have occurred in cetacean ancestors. A sneeze removes the gaseous CO2 in the lungs and replaces it with fresh air instantly, good for diving animals without gills.

  14. Sven DiMilo says

    Pretty incoherent question there, “George” (@#20). If I thought you really cared to know, I’d point out that the study you seem to be suggesting was done back in 1981.

  15. Doug says

    George Sorros,

    The rules for specification are man made just like the christian god-idea. Dummy!

    The classification is useful to aid human study, the natural processes that actually do the work aren’t limited by your lack of understanding. Nature doesn’t fall within the scope of your arbitrary time limit, are you the only bonobo related animal that doesn’t understand that?

    Suck it, christians!

  16. Sven DiMilo says

    The test of speciation is the sterility of the experimentally produced hybrid.

    yeah…it’s not nearly that simple. Reproductive isolation can take the form of postzygotic hybrid sterility (I guess you’re thinking about mules), but there are many other types of reproductive isolation; a quick googlization of the term will provide endless examples.
    In the case of Galapagos finches, nobody doubts that they were once a single species. The fact that occasional hybridization occurs is to be expected if incipient sister species come back into sympatry.
    The link I gave earlier, plus these two offer abundant evidence for genetic differentiation among populations and nominal species, which could not occur if all the finches were one big species.

    Darwin’s finches have never been subjected to the only valid test for speciation.

    You know, that line sounds familiar–Davison? That you?

  17. Steve_C says

    George. You’ll get banned because you’re an asshole that doesn’t contribute, or debate honestly, not because you “criticize” evolution.

    So George, what’s your explanation for the diversity of life on the planet?

  18. Sven DiMilo says

    yep, knew it. Believe it or not, Davison, current ideas about species concepts have advanced a bit since Dobzhansky’s (and your) day.

  19. Steve_C says

    Ohhhh… George is sound familiar. He’s a returning troll. Davison or Yamil sounds about right.

    Hey John do you have a new blog that no one goes to?

  20. Steve_C says

    Oh yeah. What’s the challenge??

    Please. What’s your evidence that has falsified evolution?

  21. Sven DiMilo says

    Well, “George”‘s posts are disappearing right before my eyes, as we knew they would once PZ put his moderation shoes on. But I just…can…not….resist…one more rejoinder to JAD, who sez:

    I challenge Myers to keep this thread alive and respond to my challenges.

    What challenges, you decrepit blowhard? The challenge to obtain permits, travel to the Galapagos, collect finches, bring them back to the USA, domesticate them, and then see which ones can produce fertile offspring? Because that would prove what, exactly, again? That Theodosius Dobzhansky didn’t know everything there is to know about bird speciation?
    You’re becoming a parody of a parody of yourself, and yourself was pretty ridiculous in the first place. Bye, John!

  22. The Swiss says

    Solar powered sneezing occurs in 20% of humans

    Wow, this happens to me all the time!
    I’m divided between relief for not being the only weirdo with sun-sneezing, and the warm feeling of being special, like in the better 20% of … ehm…
    Well, I also have synesthesia…

    Oh hell, I guess each one of us is special in its own special ways.

  23. Longtime Lurker says

    You know, George, that these marine iguanas ate coconuts before the fall…

    Sven, thanks for the new breakdown of our squamous friends-it always pays to get a new cladogram every six months or 6,ooo miles.