The green iguana also named the American iguana is a large species of lizard.
Iguana is an herbivore and belongs to the genus Iguana.
Number of Species:
There are about Thirty-Five (35) species of iguana.
They are native to Southern Brazil, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean islands.
The Green iguana is also available on the island of Anguilla.
What do iguanas eat?
They are mostly herbivores which means they mostly love to eat plants including their leaves and fruits.
They also like to eat eggs, small insects, and also some other kinds of non-plant foods. According to some scientists, non-plant food is not good for them.
How do they eat?
Iguanas have very sharp teeth which they use to chop leaves and plants. They also use these teeth when feeling threatened or unsafe.
Important plants and their benefits:
But if you have an iguana as a pet, then we will suggest you collect some weeds and flowers including:
These weeds and flowers will fulfill their nutritious requirements. They will get the moisture from these plants they need to survive.
What you should not feed them?
- You should not feed acidic fruits and flowers to them.
- They can also eat small insects under certain circumstances in the wild but you should not feed them as they will leave a huge stain on their kidneys and liver which may be fatal for them.
- You should not feed them meat or bugs.
- Other foods like spinach and kale, can be harmful to them if they are eaten too much.
How do iguanas behave?
Are Active in the day:
The green iguana is active throughout the day, busy eating flowers, fruits, and also leaves.
They love to swim:
These are excellent swimmers and that’s the reason they love to live near a river or water. When they feel unsafe or threatened, the green iguana will leap from a branch from high heights and will escape into the water.
Can survive a high fall off:
It also has difficulty landing on solid ground from a height of 40 feet but still survives.
Don’t allow them to touch them:
A green iguana does not like to be touched, they feel irritated when touched. But if you have a pet iguana and want to touch it then you can train them to tolerate touch.
Not good pets for beginners:
They are not good pets for beginners because petting an iguana requires a lot of knowledge, patience, and skills. Owners must know what to feed them, how to regulate their temperatures, and provide essential exercise to them.
How do they protect themselves?
Jaws and teeth:
They are mostly fast on land and have very strong jaws containing razor-sharp teeth which make up half of their bodies’ lengths. They use these jaws and teeth to protect themselves from predators and used them as whips to drive away predators
They have nails throughout their body and use these nails for defensive purposes.
Iguana green also has a row of spines below its back and tails which they use for defensive purposes.
Mostly they use water for hiding, when they feel unsafe they dive into the water to protect themselves from predators.
They can also shed their tail as a whip to drive out from predators. Their tail will grow and repair with time.
How is the Body of the iguana?
- Long body and short legs:
They usually have a long body that is covered with leathery scales, but their legs are short
They have very sharp teeth.
An iguana’s foot contains 5 toes with sharp claws which are used for climbing.
Their body is mostly covered with a row of spines from head to tail. To protect them from predators, they have spines along their backs.
Iguana also has some skin below their necks which is called a dewlap. This skin help iguana to maintain their body temperature, as they are cold-blooded animals and their body can’t control their body temperature automatically. This dewlap is also used to display communication or aggression.
- Large scale:
There is a large round scale present on their cheeks which is called the sub-tympanic sheath.
They have two regular eyes and have very keen vision and they can notice movements, shapes, shadows, and colors from very long distances.
What is Iguana’s Third Eye?
This is the most interesting feature of iguanas, as they contain three eyes instead of two.
An extra eye on their forehead is called a parietal eye. It is a part of the epithalamus.
The parietal eye is not like normal eyes but this eye will help them to detect the movements of predators, as they move towards them, so they will try to escape from there.
Actually, these parietal eyes are used to alert iguana from aerial threats.
Photo sensory organ and hormone production:
This third eye of the iguana will only detect changes in lightness and darkness. But we can say that this third eye is a photosensory organ that detects changes in the sunlight and also it is also involved in the production of hormones in the body of an iguana.
Regulate body temperature:
The parietal eye also helps to regulate the sleep patterns of iguana and also in managing the internal body temperatures. They have very good eyesight with their normal two eyes.
Are iguanas dangerous?
They are not dangerous and also do not harm humans but they can damage landscape foliage, sea walks, and sidewalks, and also can dig lengthy tunnels. But sometimes they can be dangerous, it all depends on how you treat them!
How to treat them to avoid an attack?
If they feel irritated or unsafe, they can bite through their jaws and serrated teeth which will produce deep cuts. Be affectionate with them to avoid any trouble.
There are more chances of male iguana biting people, mostly they bite people’s noses and fingers. Also during the time of breeding, male green iguanas should properly care otherwise they may attack openly that may include their keeper.
The female iguana behaves so nicely even during the breeding season according to the research. Mostly, they attack for self-defense and their teeth can cause serious cuts.
Iguana is beautiful, interesting, and playful as a pet. So, if you have an iguana as a pet, treat them nicely. Living as a pet, they need a high level of care including strict diet and housing requirements.