Conolophus subcristatus — Galápagos Land Iguana
Like the marine iguanas, these bulky lizards were completely unafraid of us observers. This one ate a prickly pear fruit a few feet in front of us after scraping the spines off with its claws.
Eighteen years later we were back on South Plaza admiring another generation of these impressive lizards. More rain than usual had fallen earlier in the season, so vegetation was thriving, and so were the iguanas that fed on the vegetation.
The land iguanas on North Seymour are descendants of about fifty individuals that were transferred there from Baltra (formerly known as South Seymour) in 1932. This turned out to be a good thing, as the iguana population of Baltra fared very poorly in subsequent years until there were at most a handful left. By some accounts, land iguanas were completely extirpated from Baltra. Starting in 1991, iguanas descended from this original Baltra stock have been repatriated there, and now there's a healthy population on both islands.
- Jackson, M. H. 1993. Galápagos: A Natural History
- Swash, A., and Still, R. 2005. Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galápagos Islands: An Identification Guide, 2nd Edition