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Marine Iguana Topiary

Immerse further into Topiary Takeover! The twenty topiaries inspired by UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites are paired with additional content to further guest enjoyment and accessibility. Use the four green links below to be taken directly to the additional content:

Audio Tour: Listen to Conservatory staff poetically describe the topiary displays, as well as the surrounding plantings. The audio sets the scene and provides context and plant information for each display.

Written Description: Read a written transcript of the audio tours to learn more about each display. The description provides context and plant information.

Image Gallery: View images of the topiary displays. The gallery shows the displays as a whole as well as the details that make each one special.

Playlist: Listen to the music that plays with each display, highlighting various cultures and connections to the UNESCO sites.

Audio Tour

Conservatory staff read a description of the marine iguana topiary that’s basking on the rocky shores of the Galápagos Islands. 

Written Description

Read a written version of the audio tour that describes the marine iguana topiary and Galápagos Islands-inspired plantings.

Now we have spotted a Galapagos Marine Iguana basking in the sun of the rocky beach. They are also called the Godzilla iguana as the character was based on their appearance. The Galapagos marine iguana is distinguished from other iguanas by their short blunt snout—which aids in eating algae off rocks, and a slightly compressed tail, which helps this lizard move through water. 

This iguana is the only one that can live and forage at sea, but watch out as the iguana may sneeze on you! Due to the high amount of salt in their diet, the Galapagos Marine Iguana sneezes out salt, covering themself in white salt snot.

Our iguana is costumed in variegated creeping ficus (white salt dots included), red alternanthera, black lysimachia and the green spiky textured acorus as its crest which runs down the head, back and tail.

Like other iguanas, the Galapagos marine iguanas are cold blooded, they are often found enjoying a rocky beach, as they must raise their body temperature to 97F to feed. Marine iguanas may lose 20 degrees in body temperature while swimming and feeding in the water on algae and seaweed. 

The black coastal rocks that the iguana lounges on are created with black ipomoea vines, black pearl ornamental peppers and hibiscus, whose dinner plate-sized red flowers are to represent the red rock crabs that share the beach.

Image Gallery

View the marine iguana topiary, the entire Galápagos-inspired scene and detail shots of the plant life.


Music is a diverse aspect of Ecuadorian culture. The most popular national music is the Pasillo which is rooted in the Waltz. There is also contemporary Ecuadorian music that ranges in genres including Andipop (Andean pop music), Latin Pop, Rock and Dance/Electronic.

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