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Common Name: Green Iguana

Scientific Name: Iguana iguana


Kingdom: Anamalia

Phylum: Chordota

Class: Reptillia

Order: Sauria

Family: Iguanidae

Genus Iguana

Species: I iguana


The Green Iguana, or Iguana iguana, is a herbivore that usually feeds on leaves and fruits. They compete with other lizards and anything that eats plants. For reproduction, the Iguana lays her eggs around 65 days after mating. Every time she lays her eggs, there are 10 to 30 eggs. The iguana lives in Central and South America, from Somalia and Vera Cruz, Mexico, south to the Tropic of Capricorn in Paraguay and southeast Brazil. The green iguana also lives in many islands throughout the Caribbean region and the costal eastern Pacific, and has been found also into southern Florida and in Hawaii.


Usually the iguana likes to be in the sun because they are cold-blooded. When they are cold, they can hardly move. But in the rain forest, the iguana is either living high in the tree canopy, or, a little bit lower. Young iguanas stay lower and most adults stay up higher until the female has to lay her eggs. The usual size of a male iguana is 120 to 195 cm long (as adults). Females are a tiny bit smaller. The colors of young iguanas usually appear more blotchy or striped between green and brown. Sometimes color is based on its mood, temperature, health, or social status. In the morning, while body temperature is low, the skin color will be darker, so that the lizard will absorb heat from sunlight. However, as the hot mid-day gives off heat upon them, these animals become lighter or paler, helping to reflect the sun rays and minimizing the heat absorbed.


The adaptations of a green iguana are good senses of hearing smelling, and vision. The amount of iguanas in the wild is unknown but in 1995 over 80,000 iguanas was transferred over to America for pets so I think there are a lot of iguanas. The population is shrinking because people want them as pets so people catch them or poachers take them and sell them. Some are used for their skin. People want them for their iguana boots.


The main predators of the green iguana are wild cats, dogs, other lizards, hawks, and the most deadly to them is the human being. The iguana defends itself by whipping its tail, running into the water, and changing color so a predator will be confused. If they are caught by their tail they can detach their tail and grow back another one. I think what stood out about iguanas was that I thought they would just lie around and bask, and get something to eat, but I learned that they can be active. I learned that iguanas can grow very big and they can fight with their tail. I also read that iguanas can bite you and you might have to get stitches.


Author: Madeline W

Published: 02/2007

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