Naturalist: Land Iguana

Describe role: Darwin has observed two species of very large land iguanas on the islands of Galapagos that are very different from those he observed on the continent of South America. He has asked you to collect as much information about these unusual iguanas as you can and organize this information in the form of a report your team will make to the Research Seminar. He would also like you to propose a reason why these reptiles are so different from their relatives on the mainland. Why have they grown so large? On this page you can see some drawings made by the ship's artist of these modern day dinosaurs.

Background Information: You are to follow the URL's provided below and read the information. From this information you are to prepare your report that you will present to the larger group.

Charles Darwin Foundation with links to many animals, volcanoes, history, island information

Land iguana information--no drawing

Discover Galapagos Island tour Check out the various islands for information and photos of the Land Iguana. Click on Island Tour and procede from island to island.

Link of above to animal wildlife-includes links to birds, tortoise, land lizzards, insects, plant life.

NSTA animal gallery with two iguanas

NSTA details on iguanas

You may also refer back to the sites listed on the Process page for information from Darwin's Journal:

Voyage of the Beagle

Darwin's books Origin of the Species and Voyage of the Beagle


Report: You are to present your report in the form of a research paper to the Research Group (which will be the rest of the class). You are encouraged to use visuals...overhead transparency, photographs, or photos from the web to present your informataion. Each member of your team should have part in the presentation. You should be well organized so that you can present your report withing 10-15 minutes. It is preferred that you not read the report but rather explain what you learned in your own words using an outline. Images from the Internet may be projected on our TV in our room if you have the URL.

You should include in the report: (A chart might be convenient to organize information.)

1. The common name as well as scientific name of the iguana(s).

2. A description of habitat, food sources, where located.

3. A list of characteristics that are unusual about that species.

4. A photograph or picture of the species. (This can be projected on our TV via a Web link.)

5. A proposal(s) for why these iguana are so different from their mainland relatives.