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Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates & Small Pets : Iguana Facts


Here, we have a green iguana. Its scientific
name is Iguana iguana. They are found in Central and South America, from Southern Mexico to
Central Brazil. This is a very large lizard. They can grow from four to six feet, and they
can actually weigh up to twenty pounds. In captivity, they can live up to twenty years,
and in the wild, up to eight. The green iguana possesses this row of spines from the tip
of its head down to the base of the tail. They use these spines for protection against
predators. They have these wonderful claws which are quite sharp, and they use them to
climb trees. They also use this long tail that they have to climb trees and for balance.
The tail actually has multiple purposes. It can be used to deliver a very powerful strike
to predators, and also, it’s a defense mechanism. Like many lizards, the iguana has the ability
to drop a portion of its tail off so it can escape while the predator eats the tail. The
iguana also has this dewlap, this piece of skin just below its neck, which it uses to
regulate its body temperature, it uses in courtship display, in courtship and territorial
displays as well. The size and number of eggs that a female can produce depends on her maturity
and size. They can produce anywhere from ten to thirty eggs. The green iguana is omnivorous.
They eat both plant and animal material, but when they’re younger they like to eat insects,
and as they age they eat more plant material. A very interesting fact about this a green
guana is it has a parietal eye on the top of its head. It’s also called the third eye,
and it doesn’t work in quite the same way a normal eye does. It has a very rudimentary
lens and a very rudimentary retina; however, it can see differences in color, and it can
see differences in light and movement, and it helps the iguana when its being stalked
by aerial predators. This is a green iguana.

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