Monday, 11 April 2016

I IS FOR IGUANA : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 9 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:

'Wildlife Encounters'

At first I wasn’t sure what to make of rocks littered by sneezing lizards. Sneezing lizards? Yup, they were definitely sneezing… and what sneezes! I could see stuff shooting out of their blunt snouts with no regard to the proximity of their fellows.

Now, I mentioned in my Flightless Cormorant post that the Galapagos Islands are chock-full of wonderful wildlife and that includes these Iguanas – or Marine Iguanas. And despite their rather disreputable appearance, they are nevertheless unique and wonderful creatures.




The sneezing is a result of their need to expel the salt they ingest when they’re feeding. The iguanas have developed a special nasal gland which allows them to excrete the potentially toxic salt crystals.


Only the largest iguanas are able to withstand the cold Galapagos seas long enough to actually dive underwater to feed off the seaweeds and algae. The smaller specimens simply scrape the algae off exposed rocks on the shoreline. 

Being cold blooded, all the iguanas spend a great deal of time basking on the rocks… and sneezing.



See you tomorrow – I’m heading west to a continent hitherto unvisited during this challenge. Can you guess where and what the next creature will be?


If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE


36 comments:

  1. Gosh... now I'm really chuffed! Winner again!! Mind you... I'm most happy you gave us another lead because my impala in the Kalahari has bugged me ever since I suggested it. I don't think one finds impala in the drier parts of Southern Africa.
    Mmmmmm... you've got me a tad confused. I really thought you would stay in South America with jaguar!
    How about Asia and the Japanese Macaque?

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    1. Yes, you guessed correctly! I wish I could have obliged you with a Jaguar - that cat is still on my wishlist!
      But, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if you're right about a Japanese Macaque. :)

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    2. Aaaaahh... these sleepless nights are getting the better of me! ;-)

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  2. West would probably be Asia. But I have no clue which creature. How exciting.

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  3. Hi, Aneeta. Maybe Asia, maybe not! :)

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  4. I really cannot tell what will be the theme for the letter "J"... I like photos and documentaries with iguanas not sure I'd love to see it in person :)

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    1. I agree that they're not very high up on the 'cute scale', Zeljka, but they are interesting animals.

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  5. So if you caught a cold from them it would come with it's own built-in salt nasal spray?

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  6. Though I really enjoyed reading this post, I am pretty scared of lizards! But still sneezing lizards sound funny :)

    Well Asia is my guess!

    Cheers,
    Srivi - AtoZChallenge
    I for Inspiration | Twitter

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    1. Hi, Srivi, thanks for visiting my blog. Whatever you may feel about lizards, it's impossible to be scared of ones that sneeze - they do look funny and almost endearing!

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  7. They sound quite amusing to watch - as long as it's just beyond sneezed salt range.

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    1. Yes, can you imagine being sneezed on by a lizard? :)

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  8. Sneezing iguanas, eh? Fascinating!

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  9. I'm not sure I would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. :)

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  10. That was fascinating Susan. We saw the marine iguanas last year but I don't recall them sneezing. I should have loved to have witnessed it. Thank you for this most intriguing information.

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    1. Oh what a shame you missed them sneezing, Sue - it was an amusing sight!

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  11. Unsure where you are going or what you will be writing about, but I'm looking forward to the read:)

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    1. Hi Sandra, my next post will be quite short - but hopefully you'll enjoy it enough to return for more encounters. :)

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  12. It must have sounded like you had stumbled upon a lizard Flu outbreak!! :-)

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    1. It was a slightly surreal encounter, Roland.

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  13. I've learned something from you yet again. I wonder what and where next?

    Keith's Ramblings: a story with 4 neglected J words!

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    1. Learned something - and hopefully entertained, Keith. I'll try to keep up my posts for the challenge. :)

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  14. Fascinating that they expel toxins by sneezing!

    Yvonne V

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    1. Yes, it's a wonderful example of evolution at work, Yvonne.

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  15. Ah yes, the iguanas! I had forgotten that they sneeze out the salt.

    The only J animal I can think of is a jackal.

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    1. Wonderful creatures, aren't they? Jackal... wrong continent I'm afraid, Tracy. :)

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  16. I've always wanted a large pet lizard nut never did. I guess it's not too late.

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    1. Well, I'm not sure what there is to gain by keeping lizards in captivity - maybe best to leave them in the wild?

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  17. Well, I never!! That's Texan for I can hardly believe it. What a wonderful array of animals God created! I just sneezed myself thinking about it!
    Revisit the Tender Years with me during the #AtoZChallenge at Life & Faith in Caneyhead!

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    1. Our world is packed with wonderful things, Barbara - it's just a shame we humans have a nasty habit of destruction. (But that's another subject!)

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  18. I was right:) funny because my J post goes with one of the movies since these were used I. The first film I talk about.

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  19. Well done for guessing, Birgit. :)

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  20. Aha! Well, I do do these - later on! Fabulous! There's wonderful film of them that I can't find posted anywhere but on Facebook, which I'd like to include. The sneezing is amazing! If only we could sneeze out too much salt. perhaps we'd have less of a problem with blood pressure...

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