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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Green Iguana

Photo Credit: Jamaican college grad
The green iguana is a lizard common to tropical forests in Central and South America. Often it perches on a branch overhanging a river, plunging into the water for safety if danger threatens.

The green iguana is one of the biggest and most impressive of the lizards, with its long, whip-like tail and large head. Its prominent throat flap and the tail, comb-like crest of spines that runs along its neck and back give this tree dweller a menacing appearance.

The green iguana is common over many parts of its range. It inhabits swamps, beaches, and savannahs, but it lives mainly in tropical forests.

Supremely able to climb trees and leap between branches, it forages from the forest floor to the canopy, up to 100 feet from the ground. It is often seen near water, and it regularly penetrates deep into the forest, where it basks in shafts of sunlight on exposed branches.

The green iguana's diet varies with age. The adult is a plant eater, but in some areas it catches and eats small mammals and nestling birds. It feeds mainly on leaves, berries, and fruit. It also scavenges, but rarely, on the ground. The juvenile, however, often scurries about the forest floor searching form invertebrates, including insects, grubs,worms, and snails.

Did you know? 

  • The tail of a the green iguana is up to three times its body length. 
  • The adult green iguana has few natural enemies apart for large cats, crocodiles, and boa constrictors. A small juvenile may fall prey to a hawk or even another lizard. 
  • If a nesting female unearths another iguana's buried eggs while she is digging, she will immediately kick them up to the surface.

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