ANIMALS A - Z

Green Iguana Facts

Iguana iguana
 
Iguanas are among some of the largest lizards in America reaching lengths of up to 2 meters (6.5 feet)
A large green iguana will weigh up to 9kg (20 pounds)
The green iguana has a "third eye" on the top of its head. This eye does not function as a normal eye as it does not have a lens and can't see clear images. The eye does have a retina and is capable of detecting changes in light which may serve in detecting predators from above.
Iguanas are capable of autotomy, a defence mechanism in which they are capable of discarding their tails as a distraction to escape predation. Depending on the age of the iguana it will take 2 months or longer for the tail to regrow to the original length.
These large lizards are excellent swimmers and are capable of holding their breath under water for up to 30 minutes!
The iguana is a herbivore feeding mainly on fruit, flowers, leaves, grasses and ferns, however there is evidence of them eating insects and eggs in the wild but this is not common. Excessive meat in their diet can cause kidney problems.
In forested areas green iguanas like to top to the tops of trees and can be found as high up as 40 feet!
They are excellent climbers but have been know to fall 40 feet (12 meters) to the ground and survive!
Young iguanas will often eat the faeces of adults. By doing this they are harvesting the much needed microflora for their stomachs which is needed to aid the digestion of their plant diet.
The collective noun for a group of iguanas is a 'MESS'.
In Central America Green iguanas are served as a delicacy called 'Bamboo chicken'.
Dominant iguanas within the same area are darker in colour than the lower ranked individuals.
The lower jaw and neck of the iguana functions much like a camels hump and is used to store fat that is bunt off during times of famine.