Two forms of iguanas lived in the islands. Each type had affinities with the common South American green iguana, yet they had adapted so profoundly to different ecologic niches in the islands that they had evolved into separate genera. Conolophus, adept at living on the arid islands and feeding on the sharp-spined Opuntia cactus became the land iguana, while Amblyrhynchus, with its flattened tail for swimming, its strong claws for hauling itself out on the water, and its blunt, shortened snout for scraping algae off of rocks, became the marine iguana. Moreover, many islands developed their own races of these unusual lizards.

Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands

Describe the evolutionary differences between the two iguanas mentioned in the above document.

Explain why the iguanas on the Galapagos Islands were similar to the iguanas on South America.




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Mrs. Dimino's Eighth Grade Life Science Classes
JFK Middle School
Port Jefferson Station, New York

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