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Cyclura nubila

Cyclura nubila, also known as the Cuban iguana, is a species of lizard of the iguana family. It is the largest of the West Indian rock iguanas, one of the most endangered groups of lizards. This herbivorous species with red eyes, a thick tail, and spiked jowls is one of the largest lizards in the Caribbean. The Cuban iguana is distributed throughout the rocky southern coastal areas of mainland Cuba and its surrounding islets with a feral population thriving on Isla Magueyes, Puerto Rico. It is also found on the Cayman Islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, where a separate subspecies occurs. Females guard their nest sites and often nest in sites excavated by Cuban crocodiles. As a defense measure, the Cuban iguana often makes its home within or near prickly-pear cacti. Although the wild population is in decline because of predation by feral animals and habitat loss caused by human agricultural development, its numbers have been bolstered as a result of captive-breeding and other conservation programs. Cyclura nubila has been used to study evolution and animal communication, and its captive-breeding program has been a model for other endangered lizards in the Caribbean. (Full article...)

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Charles Bolden

Charles Bolden (b. 1946) is the current Administrator of NASA. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1968, Bolden became a pilot for the Marine Corps, seeing combat during the Vietnam War. He spent time as a test pilot during the 1970s before being selected in 1980 for the astronaut program. During his time as an astronaut he spent more than 28 days in space, taking part in four missions. After leaving NASA, he returned to the military and reached the rank of Major General before retiring in 2004. He was selected by American president Barack Obama to head NASA in 2009, becoming the first African American to head the agency on a permanent basis.

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