Did you know that there are more than 35 distinct species of iguanas?
Unfortunately, some of these cold-blooded critters are among the most endangered animals in the world. The Galápagos pink land iguana, for example, is critically endangered, with fewer than 200 animals in existence anywhere.
These are just a few of the many fascinating facts about iguanas. Read on to learn more about this intelligent, interesting lizard!
1. Iguanas Love Their Vegetables
Most iguanas are herbivores. That means their diet is plant-based and consists of fruits, young leaves and shoots, and flower buds. The marine iguana, found only in the Galápagos Islands, eats algae it scrapes off ocean rocks and snacks on seaweed.
Pet iguanas enjoy eating live feed such as worms and crickets but these should be fed sparing, as a treat.
2. Iguanas Aren’t Too Attached to Their Tails
Imagine that when a would-be attacker (or your annoying older brother) grabbed your arm, you could actually detach it to escape! That’s exactly what iguanas do with their tails. They can also use the tails as a weapon to whack an attacker.
The tails usually grow back, but often they are a different size and darker color than the previous tail.
Even more bizarrely, the detached tail will continue to twitch and wiggle for a few moments. That helps further confuse the predator. As you might guess, it’s a very distracting sight!
3. Iguana Mamas Are Not Very Maternal
Like most lizards, iguanas lay eggs. The rock iguana will lay between five and 20 eggs at a time, while the green iguana can produce upwards of 60 eggs. Once the mama iguana lays her eggs in a warm, secluded burrow, however, she’s done with motherhood.
It’s a cold fact that baby iguanas must mature on their own without a parent’s protection or guidance. This contributes to the species’ at-risk status. Young iguanas are often killed by predators before they reach maturity.
4. But Iguanas Grow Up to Be Tough
Once they reach adulthood, iguanas are a little better able to survive. With their stocky bodies, hard skulls, and spiny backs, they can withstand a lot of hardship. In fact, the green iguana can survive a fall of 40 feet!
In addition, iguanas are determined fighters. They will lash out to defend themselves when cornered or attacked. Their sharp teeth, spiky spines, and slapping tails are all effective weapons!
Do you have iguanas infesting your home? Don’t worry, it’s easy to get rid of them without hurting them — or being hurt yourself. You can find out how here!
5. Iguanas Are Laid Back Lizards
When they aren’t fighting, though, iguanas are pretty chill creatures. Since they’re cold-blooded, they love hot climates where they can lounge all day in the sun.
Iguanas also have a pretty active social life, living and eating together. They don’t have to hunt for their food, or even go far or forage hard to find it. That means they can just relax most of the day, snacking when they get hungry.
Which of These Facts About Iguanas Is Your Favorite?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick tour of the wonderful world of iguanas. Leave a comment below and tell us. And if you thought these facts about iguanas were interesting, why not share this article with your friends?
Afterward, stick around and check out some of our other blog posts. You can learn more about all creatures fierce and furry!