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The Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi) is endemic to the island of Grand Cayman. Its generic name (Cyclura) is derived from the Ancient Greek words cyclos (κύκλος) meaning "circular" and ourá (οὐρά) meaning "tail", after the thick-ringed tail characteristic of all Cyclura. Its specific name is a Latinized form of the name of the scientist who first described this species, Bernard C. Lewis. Its closest relatives are the Cuban Iguana (Cyclura nubila) and the Northern Bahamian Rock Iguana (Cyclura cychlura), the three species having diverged from a common ancestor some three million years ago. The species has a low genetic diversity but does not seem to suffer the same lack of vitality that afflicts other such species of rock iguana. One theory is that the species evolved from a single female Cuban Iguana (C. nubila nubila) with eggs inside her who drifted across the sea, perhaps during a storm. It is distinct from the subspecies found on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac known as C. nubila caymanensis, although it can breed with this subspecies and produce fertile offspring.

In 1938, Bernard C. Lewis of the Institute of Jamaica joined an Oxford University biological expedition to the Cayman Islands. Lewis was able to obtain two Blue Iguanas, a male and a female, which were later lodged with the British Museum of Natural History. Chapman Grant, in a monograph published in 1940, formally described the Blue Iguana for the first time as Cyclura macleayi lewisi. Schwartz and Carey established the trinomial (Cyclura nubila lewisi) in 1977. They held that the Blue Iguana was a strongly distinct subspecies of the Cuban Iguana (C. nubila), the species which it evolved from and can breed with. They emphasized its overall bright blue coloration, and noted that further study could reveal it to be a distinct species. Frederick Burton reclassified the Blue Iguana as a distinct species in 2004, after years of research comparing scale counts on the heads of Caribbean iguanas, including those found on Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Cuba, and the Bahamas, as well as mitochondrial DNA analysis performed by Dr. Catherine Malone, to re-examine the phylogeography of the different species.

The information on Bird Anatomy was contributed by:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Cayman_Blue_Iguana

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