10 Facts About Iguanas You Didn’t Already Know

Published on 05/02/2022

Iguanas are herbivorous lizards native to the tropical regions of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Here are some interesting facts about iguanas that you probably didn’t know.

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10 Facts About Iguanas You Didn’t Already Know


There Are Around 35 Species of Iguana

And they’re all a little different, despite the fact that the family has been reclassified in recent years.

The common Green iguana, which is also a popular pet, is arguably the iguana that most people are most familiar with. The Marine iguana and the Lesser Antillean iguana (both of which we’ll learn more about later), the Desert iguana (which doesn’t look like an iguana), and the Spiny Tailed iguana (which can be less than a meter in length) are some of the others.

Some Like Heat

Tropical areas such as Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean are home to iguanas. They spend a lot of time in the sun to maintain their body temperature because they are cold-blooded organisms. For some people, it’s fine! Despite the fact that they spend a lot of time in the sun…

Iguanas Aren’t That Lazy

Iguanas appear to be large creatures, with some measuring over 2 meters (80 inches) in length and weighing over 19 pounds. They are, nonetheless, extremely quick animals, with some smaller species capable of reaching speeds of exceeding 18 mph. They’re quick climbers who can leap from branch to branch in a matter of seconds, and some have been seen falling up to twenty feet without harming themselves. Human consumption is not advised.

Most Iguanas Are Good On Dry Land, But Some Prefer The Ocean

The majority of lizards are land animals that spend much of their time in the sun eating, sleeping, and controlling their body temperature. However, some iguana species don’t mind getting a little wet. The Marine Iguana, which can only be found on the Galapagos Islands, is the only lizard that can forage in the sea. It eats algae and can dive up to 30 meters (100 feet) deep, staying underwater for up to half an hour if necessary.

Marine iguanas enjoy mutualistic connections with a variety of different creatures, including mockingbirds and crabs that feed on the mites and ticks on their skin, and they’re frequently observed living in close proximity to sea lions for no obvious reason. Both of them are oblivious to one other.

It Isn’t Only The Marine Iguana That Likes Taking A Dip

Because of its close exposure to the ocean, the Marine Iguana feeds primarily on algae. Other iguanas, on the other hand, are generally good swimmers. They try to get away from predators by jumping into a nearby body of water and swimming away.

Some hawks, who are natural predators of iguanas, have developed a singing technique that causes the iguana to freeze, allowing them to effortlessly swoop in and grab it up in their talons. Iguanas are in such a bad situation!

Iguanas Are Vegetarians, But They Aren’t So Strict

Iguanas eat largely leaves, flowers, fruit, and shoots and are mostly vegetarians. However, some have been recorded in the wild eating bird’s eggs and small insects, as well as mice and fish in captivity, similar to how some vegetarians can’t resist a cheeseburger after a night at the bar. We’ve all met one…

It’s being debated whether these iguanas’ high-protein diet is healthful. Some scientists believe it is harmful to their digestive systems, while others claim that iguanas that eat a small amount of meat have no health problems. ExoticDirect recommends that you avoid feeding your iguana meat and instead give them greens to receive their vitamins.

Iguanas Have Eyes In The Backs Of Their Heads

No, not at all. The ‘third eye,’ sometimes known as the parietal eye, is something they do have. This eye can’t see like a normal one, but it can detect movement and light shifts. It helps iguanas detect predators and stay secure. When hawks are present, though, this strategy isn’t 100 percent effective, and there’s another issue…

Some Iguanas Have Become Endangered Due To Unnatural Predators

Lesser Antillean iguana numbers have been steadily falling, and they are currently classified as severely endangered. Habitat loss, hunting, hybridization with the Green Iguana, and the introduction of feral predators are all contributing factors.

The latter is significant since these new predators – primarily dogs, cats, and Mongooses – have a hunting style that the iguana is unfamiliar with. Iguanas have a problem adapting to new hazards and defending themselves appropriately, a condition known as ecological naivete.

Because the more widespread Green iguana has been introduced to regions where the Lesser Antillean iguana used to thrive, the latter’s populations have been declining. The two species are in direct competition for food, and the population of the Lesser Antillean iguana is diminishing due to interbreeding.