Fernandina Island, Ecuador
Swimming Iguanas of the GalápagosWhile Charles Darwin didn’t much care for the marine iguanas of the Galápagos (he dismissively dubbed them “imps of darkness”), modern-day travelers may find them fascinating. Endemic to the Galápagos, they are the only iguanas on earth that feed exclusively underwater—and they’ve developed some unique physical adaptations that allow them to do so. Among these are long claws they use to grip rocks; a flattened tail that lets them swim, crocodile-like, beneath the sea’s surface; and blunt, spiny snouts that help them scrape up their favorite food, underwater algae.
Face time with the endemic species of the Galápagos is a major reason to visit these islands. On Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Galápagos journeys, itineraries are built around animal encounters.