11 images Created 7 May 2016
Imps of Darkness
Charles Darwin called the Galapagos marine iguanas "imps of darkness." Their reptilian skin and their razor-sharp claws seem to me like the traits of something that escaped the confines of a dark and terrifying hell. Yet, they are just as much a mascot of natural selection as Darwin's finches. They evolved from land iguanas into marine iguanas, and live off alga and seaweed they harvest in the frigid ocean. Their dark skin absorbs heat as they bask on black lava to recover from the cold ocean. The white crystalline facets on their heads are from the salt they extrude from a hole on the top of their heads. These adaptations allow them to exist on the barren islands of the Galapagos. These grisly creatures embody the beauty of nature adapting, evolving and persevering.