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Iguana Facts – 21 Facts You Need To Know About Iguanas

Iguana Facts for Kids by Kidzable

Iguanas are a type of lizard. They are tropical herbivores that are geographically found in the woods of Mexico. Iguanas are one of the most popular of the so-called exotic pets today.

In fact, you can easily find iguanas at most pet shops for a fairly low price. The iguanas that are sold in these pet shops are usually very young juveniles.

People see Iguanas and think that they’re cute, plus they’re so small it’s assumed they must be easy to care for. But the truth is Iguanas grow bigger – MUCH bigger – and have a tendency to become aggressive if not tamed and handled often from a young age.

Many people who have interest in Iguanas are often too excited that they often overlook a thorough study on iguanas. For sure, these reptiles are high maintenance even though they are fun to have. They require special housing with specific requirements to stay healthy and happy.

Iguanas love the sun’s heat and their favorite leisure activity is sunbathing.

Frequently in the U.S, you will find the green species, often referred to as Iguana iguana, Black spiny-tail or Ctenosaura similis. Elsewhere in the world, the red iguanas exist, especially in the open forests of Eastern and Southern Africa.

Iguana Facts

Iguana Facts

As you will find in documented iguana facts, iguanas look alike physically, color being their main disparity.

Iguanas Have A line Of Spines

First, they have a line of spine along their spinal cord up to the tip of their tail.

Iguana’s Third Eye

The pariental eye, often referred to as the third eye is quite extraordinary, as it rests on the top of the iguana’s head.

What is iguana biological classification?

Biologically, Iguanas belong to Lizard family called Genus. It is further classified into Green Iguana and Antillean Iguana. The former is the favorite pet.

Iguana Temperament

This is one of the major iguana facts that you must know. Wild iguanas have a terrible temperament. They can be dangerous when angry although they will frequently stay away form humans. If they are stalked or cornered, the angry wild iguana can bite with its sharp teeth. It can also scratch your skin with its claws.

What Do Iguanas Eat?

As mentioned above, Iguanas are actually herbivores and their favorite foods are plants. Specifically, they feed on orchids, roses, hibiscus, impatiens, If you accidentally let yours loose, it will probably trace your vegetable and flower garden. That is, you could find a supply of milkweed, citrus, pentas, crotons, oleander.

Iguana Size

Most of you wonder how big an iguana reptile can grow. This will possibly be one of the most interesting iguana facts for someone who think his or her lizard is very little and fragile. As soon as they start feeding calmly, iguanas can grow as big as five to seven feet long. That is roughly 1.5 to 2 meters long, which is obviously a very big size. An adult iguana weights around eight kilograms or eighteen pounds.

What do Iguanas love to do?

A well fed iguana spends most of its day basking on the sun as it is with their own folks during mating time.

How long do iguanas live?

Although there is a sheet that indicates that Iguanas can live for thirty years, their normal lifespan is twenty years.

Iguana Housing

The best house is long and wide and provides for climbing and peeping activities. This is important among all other iguana facts.

Facts About Iguanas

Here are some interesting iguana questions and answers:

What is an iguana?

The term “iguana” is typically used when talking about any member of the lizard family Iguanidae. They are characterized by short, powerful limbs with sharp claws. They use their claws for climbing and digging. Iguanas love to climb, which means that it’s best to give them a tall habitat with branches and shelves that provide plenty of opportunity for their favorite activity.

Iguana Tail

Iguanas have long, strong tails that can be used like whips for self defense if they feel cornered or in danger. They can also use their tails for swimming.

What is iguana dewlap?

You’ll notice a flap of skin below the throat – this is called a dewlap. It’s especially pronounced on male iguanas, and can be used to intimidate predators or impress the lady iguanas. It also has a practical use of helping somewhat to regulate body temperature.

Iguana Crest

Iguanas have a crest of soft spines that run down their neck and back. Generally, male iguanas have longer spines than the females.

About male and female iguanas

Male iguanas tend – in general – to be a bit bigger than females of the same age. They have larger heads and their body color will be brighter than that of females, especially at breeding time.

Both sexes have about a dozen pores underneath their thighs that are used to secrete a substance that the iguanas use to mark their territory. These femoral pores become more obvious in mature male iguanas, and are used to help grasp the female during copulation.

Facts About Iguanas

Iguana skin and color

Iguanas have scaly skin, like other reptiles. While they don’t change color like chameleons, their skin color does alter with exposure to light. Younger iguanas will be more of a pale green than mature iguanas, who often turn to a more brown or reddish color.

Iguana senses

Iguanas have very accurate vision and a keen sense of hearing and smell, all to ensure their better survival. The iguana, despite its appearance, is a prey animal, and must always be on the lookout for predators. While they may appear clumsy, they are excellent swimmers and climbers which allows them to escape any danger.

Do iguanas lay eggs?

Yes, iguanas lay eggs. Female iguanas will lay eggs about 2 months after mating. When it’s time to deposit the eggs, she’ll dig a hole and lay from 25 to 40 eggs. The eggs will hatch about 2 weeks later.

Iguana Pet

Iguanas can make really fun and interesting pets, provided that you learn as much about them as possible. They are a high maintenance pet, and require special care to keep them healthy. But if you’re prepared to do what it takes, it will certainly pay off for you as you can enjoy the company of your iguana pet for up to 20 years.

What To Expect With an Iguana as Pet

There are thousands of people who keep pet iguanas, but it’s only recently that there’s been much information available on proper iguana care. Of course reputable pet stores will give good information on iguana care, but there are some stores that will give bad or incomplete information so that they can make more sales. There’s also a lot of information on the internet, but be careful to double check information that you find online, not all of it is true.

Iguanas are the most popular pet lizard, and are quite affordable to buy in pet stores. If you want to buy an iguana, your best bet is going to a specialty reptile store – you’ll find the most knowledgeable help and service. While iguanas aren’t difficult to care for, they are a very high maintenance pet – you need to keep in mind the veterinary, food and housing needs of this special pet. Iguanas must be fed and caged properly, or they can become quite ill and have much shorter than expected life spans.

So obviously you must be prepared to give your pet iguana the tender loving care it needs. It’s habitat needs to be kept clean and sanitary. Remember that iguanas can carry salmonella, so should be kept away from babies, pregnant women, the elderly and anyone else who may have a weakened immune system.

The Green Iguana

The green iguana is the most common iguana pet. They are herbivores, meaning they eat plants, and in the wild, are a prey animal – other animals eat them. Because of this, their instinct is to live in a place with plenty of shrubbery/foliage, where they can climb and hide. If you have a pet iguana, you need to provide a home that mimics the kind of habitat they have in the wild. It will also need to be kept at the proper temperatures – like what they are accustomed to in their tropical natural habitats – and that allow them to receive the needed UV rays from the sun, or provide alternative light sources.

Iguana Diet

It’s also very important to know the proper feeding of your iguana, and how it’s digestive system is made up. Bad nutrition and unsanitary living conditions are the biggest causes of bad health and death for pet iguanas, so it’s necessary for you to be certain that you’re able to provide the proper diet and habitat needs of your pet iguana.

Like any other living creature, iguanas have tastes of their own. While one iguana may love to eat hibiscus flowers, another may turn up his nose at them – each iguana will have certain foods that it likes or dislikes. So be prepared to experiment a little with your pet – and remember, when you have a pet iguana, it’s life really is in your hands.

Iguana With Other Iguanas

Iguanas are oviparous reptiles but unlike agamas, the iguanids don’t breed very well in captivity. As with all groups of lizards when more than one young iguana is housed in the same enclosure, care must be taken to ensure that all iguanas may be able to feed satisfactorily. Dominant individuals may frighten off weaker lizards resulting in negative effects calling for the development of a natural screen with one or two feeding dishes. The screen should be rigid and of a neutral color to be sure that the reptiles aren’t put off their food altogether.

50 Iguana Names

If you just got your first iguana, chances are you are searching for that perfect name. Here are some iguana names for your inspiration.

  • Alayna
  • Barker
  • Biko
  • Buckhead
  • Carpool
  • Cedarsprings
  • Cosby
  • Dijon
  • Dita
  • Droopy
  • Eloise
  • Eric
  • Firebug
  • Firestorm
  • Fish
  • Guardian
  • Houdini
  • Irish
  • J.A.G.
  • Jael
  • Jaffa
  • Jedi
  • Josette
  • Kathie
  • Katie
  • Katona
  • Krupp
  • Newsweek
  • Nitzana
  • Noguent
  • Ohio
  • Olympian
  • Opus
  • Ottah
  • Percy
  • Remmington
  • Rufus
  • Savannah
  • Senna
  • Shotzie
  • Sourdough
  • Squash
  • Stormy
  • Tata
  • Tipperary
  • Trailblazer
  • Tuto
  • Zach
  • Zora

For more name inspiration, check out these fun lizard names as well.

More Facts

We have a lot more interesting facts about animals on Kidzable. You could take a look at Alpaca facts or Millipede facts for more educational but fun content about the fascinating world of animals.

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Written by Kidzable

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