A Critically Endangered Species

The Blue Iguana or Grand Cayman Iguana (Cyclura lewisi) is a critically endangered species of lizard of the genus Cyclura endemic to the island of Grand Cayman. Previously listed as a subspecies of the Cuban Iguana, it was reclassified as a separate species in 2004 because of genetic differences discovered four years earlier. The Blue Iguana is one of the longest-living species of lizard (possibly up to 69 years). The record is 67 years.  (wikipedia)

I’ve been meaning to feature these amazing creatures ever since we returned from our trip to Grand Cayman but you know how life sometimes gets in the way of doing some things. They have been waiting patiently for me to get around to giving them their moment in the blogsphere and today is their day!  This species of lizard can only be found in Grand Cayman and at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Gardens (if you ever happen to be in Grand Cayman I highly recommend going there – it is beautiful!).  There are signs up mentioning the iguanas and admonishing you not to try and touch or feed them – they will bite.  No problems from me on that one.  When we left the lair of the Cayman Whistling Duck we walked along another path when we saw HIM walking cool and calm down the path towards us.

Panic set in as I was afraid the creature might bite if we walked too close to him so instead we stopped and started taking pictures!  What a ham…he walked right up to us and actually posed.  I’m guessing they are used to tourists and their cameras.  Biding him farewell and returning to our walk, we happened upon two more of his relatives.  They posed too.  I’m not sure what the blue beads are in their frills but I would venture a guess that it has something to do with identification.

I hope they never become extinct because they are truly magnificent creatures.

About imagesbytdashfield

Fine art photographer who loves to see and capture the amazing things in this world. Owner of Images by TDashfield photography. www.imagesbytdashfield.com
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9 Responses to A Critically Endangered Species

  1. bulldogsturf says:

    Interesting lizard… great post and photos..

  2. cecilia says:

    Do you mind terribly if I put this fellow on my pinterest board.. I just love this top shot! c

  3. etomczyk says:

    TD: Aren’t these creatures something else? When I first encountered them, my imagination went wild and they grew to the size of giant monsters in an old Japanese horror movie. I was transfixed by them. It really makes you wonder what God was smoking when some of these creatures were created. I always think that about the platypus. Great photos. I can hardly wait to see what catches your fancy this fall.

  4. dhphotosite says:

    Super photos Teri! It’s really neat that the creature stayed and posed for you and wasn’t skittish. I especially like the photos because they show him/her in it’s natural environment.

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