via Mediotiempo

Galapagos Islands have been a long center of studies of wildlife as an almost mythical and certainly scientific powerhouse ever since Charles Darwin set foot on its shores in the 19th century and developed his Theory of Evolution by studying the creatures he found there.

Every now and then, a new finding comes across scientists and amazes the world with its peculiarities. This time, the main character is a Mini-Godzilla found in the Pacific Ocean swimming near the islands.

Obviously, we’re not talking about the huge monster we’ve all seen in movies, but instead somewhat of a tiny version of it that lives in these South American islands.

 

‘Mini-Godzilla’ Is Actually A Marine Iguana

via Peru 21

We are talking about the Marine Iguana, a type of sea lizard so rare that you can only find it in this part of the world. They are related to Land Iguanas but are far more special because, with at least 7 seven subspecies, it’s almost a kind of dinosaur. Also, it’s the only lizard in the world that exclusively depends on the marine environment feeding entirely from algae and seaweed.

They have almost no predators because of their size which can get up to around 50 inches (1 meter) except for the occasional shark.

They’re usually located on rocky shores and can be seen feeding on the beaches when the tide is low.  Male specimens go out for swims of 62 feet deep and they can stay underwater for an astonishing 10 minutes long. They even have a very particular way of disposing of the excess salt that they ingest from their marine diet: by sneezing.

This amazing creature was recently captured by Photographer Shelton Dupreez and reposted by scientific groups and even the official account of the islands, and immediately went viral for its resemblance to the film monster.

 

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Una publicación compartida de Shelton Dupreez (@sheltondupreez)

So, if you’re a Godzilla fan, now you know that there is a place in the world where you could actually get to see a tiny but very real version of him, whether is swimming near you or just lying on the rocks.