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Lava lizard basking on rock

Galapagos Islands 2017. As per the explanation below, the lizard is coloured to blend in with the local rocks.

Lava lizard, Galapagos Islands. Lava lizard, Galapagos Islands.

Commonly known as lava lizards, Microlophus is a genus of tropidurid lizards native to South America. About 20 species are recognized of which six are endemic to the Galápagos Islands.

It's believed that all the species evolved from a single ancestral species, however, as usual for the Tropiduridae, they can change their colour individually to some extent, and members of the same species occurring in different habitats also show colour differences. Thus, animals living mainly on dark lava are darker than ones that live in lighter, sandy environments. Presumably, the camouflage helps evade the gaze of predators.

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