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Galapagos

The Hood Lava Lizard

Microlophus delanonis lava lizard

The Hood Lava Lizard or Española Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis) is one of the nine different endemic species of Lava Lizard from the Galapagos. This lizard is special because his ancestor was the first to colonize the archipelago, between 3.7 to 1.4 million years ago. Is easy to find them taking a sunbathing at noon or doing push-ups above rocks. This red coloration is typical in females. In contrast, the males have a brownish coloration and a black dewlap.

Galapagos Marine Iguana

Galapagos Marine Iguana

In Galapagos, you will see Marine Iguana, which .is one of the few species of Lizards that will forage around the sea, and that is classified as a marine reptile. They are capable of diving down up to 30 feet into the water to find food and have a natural ability to swim and to move around with speed.

The body of this species of Lizard ranges from black to a light shade of gray. They may be thought of as different Lizard species when someone sees the different colors of them but they are all the same. The darker colors help them to be able to get more sunlight and that helps with their body temperature.

The body is covered with short spikes on the head and all down the back. This serves to deter various predators and even other types of Lizards. This gives them a mean look though which is ironic as they are very timid and shy for the most part. They have webbing between their toes that allow them to move around with ease in the water.

The males are longer than the females with a size of about 5 ½ feet. The females are about 2 feet shorter. In the water, they are fast and graceful but movement on land is clumsy and takes lots of energy for the Galapagos Marine Iguana. You will notice that they have dorsal fins and a long tail.

These features of the body allow them to move in the water with little energy being expended. They use their sharp claws to help them when the current is heavy and when they need to get onto land.

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw

blue and yellow macaw

Blue-and-yellow macaw photographed in Ecuador

The Blue and Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) or Blue-and-gold Macaw is a member of the macaw group of parrots. This bird breed in the wet tropical rainforests of South America from Panama south to Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Though classified as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN, the Blue and Yellow Macaw is considered an endangered species in Trinidad. The Blue and Yellow Macaw is often famous to be one of the most trainable and intelligent birds of these parrots and considered the most beautiful of all parrot species.

The Blue and Yellow Macaw has blue wings and tail, black chin, golden under parts and a green forehead. Their beaks are black and really strong for crushing nuts. The naked face is white, turning pink in excited birds and lined with small black feathers. There is little variation in plumage across the range. Some birds have a more orangey or ‘butterscotch’ underside color, particularly on the breast.

The Blue and Yellow Macaw measures around 34 – 36 inches in length from the tip of its head to the tip of its tail making them one of the biggest parrots in the world. It has a wingspan of 41 to 45 inches and weighs between 900 and 1300 grams.