Get to know the world's only ocean-going lizard
Species: A. cristatus
Range: Endemic to Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands—Isabela, Fernandina, Española, Floreana, Santa Cruz & other islets; in coastal regions along the islands’ rocky shorelines
Population: Unknown but estimated at 200,000-300,000
How to spot them: Spiky dorsal scales; short, blunt snout; sooty black with mottled patches of gray, brown, or buff (except on the southern islands of Española and Floreana, where breeding males acquire “Christmas” coloration of bright red splotches with green and sometimes blue legs); about 2.5 feet in length on average—big males can reach 5 feet.
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable: At high risk of extinction in the wild