Choosing the best snake for you

Choosing the Best Snake for You #pets #reptiles #snakesAs snakes become more and more popular to keep as pets it is important to choose the species that best fits you. This might not seem like a necessary exercise in the decision-making process but as you read this article it will become clear why it is.

Every species of snake has a unique personality

The process of picking the right snake begins with researching the different species of snakes common in the pet industry. Are you looking for something relatively small, docile, and good with kids? A Ball Python (python regius) would be a good place to start. Maybe you want something a bit more active? If that’s the case you should consider getting a Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus guttatus), known also as a Red Rat snake. Or it could be that you are looking for an incredible display animal more than something you can handle on a daily basis. If that describes you then a Green Tree python (morelia viridis) would be a great place to start.

With literally thousands of different species of snakes (close to 2700 in total) there is bound to be one species that is a better fit for you than the others. Of course nowhere near all 2700 species are common or even available to the pet industry. The most common snakes you’ll find are –

  • Ball pythons
  • Corn snakes
  • Boa constrictors
  • King snakes

All of those will most likely be available at your local big box pet store. If you want to start finding snakes beyond the “big four” mentioned above you’ll need to do some research into them. A good place to start is an online community called Kingsnake. Another community to look into is Fauna Classifieds. Both of those sites offer active forums both to learn more about specific species of snakes but also to buy them when the time comes.

Every species of snakes has specific care needs different from other species

If you’re the “set and forget” type of person you don’t want a snake that you have to constantly monitor heat and humidity for. This means you should avoid any of the (sub)tropical species such as Boa constrictors and Ball pythons. You’d do better with King snakes, Corn snakes, or Garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). If on the other hand you like to keep a close eye on your snake you could go with something a little more exotic such as a Brazilian Rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria cenchria) or a Jungle Carpet python (Morelia spilota cheynei).

There is much more to caring for a snake than heat and humidity. How about the size the snake you are considering will grow to be? If you buy an eighteen inch Reticulated python (Python reticulatus) will you still be able to care for it when it is 12 or more feet long? Can you provide safe housing (safe both for the snake and for people and other animals in the same house as the snake)? Will you be able to afford to feed the snake? While a small mouse is cheap enough having to buy a large rabbit every other week starts to add up.


Choosing an Exotic Pet for Your Family

Choosing the Right Exotic Pet for Your Family

Exotic pets are becoming more popular for average households to own and although they are not for everyone, some people love this style of animal. This style of pet is unusual and fascinating and can be an incredible addition to your household. However, the pet care that is needed for exotic animals can be extremely complicated, therefore, research is essential.

There are vast numbers of different, exotic pets that you can choose, and some may be highly unusual. You need to consider what animal you like, and whether you have the space, knowledge and finances to look after it correctly. Exotic pets tend to take far more care than other pets; therefore, you need to be prepared for this before you purchase the animal.

Research is essential when looking to bring home any style of exotic pets, and you need to ensure that you understand what you are taking on. Finding a reputable dealer is essential to guarantee that your new pet is healthy, and allowed to be kept as a pet. There are many restrictions and laws surrounding the keeping of exotic pets in homes.

Lizards, snakes, spiders, insects and fish are some of the typical, exotic pets that people choose to have in their homes. You will need to decide which animal interests you, and whether you can provide the correct pet care for them to be healthy and happy. Many of these animals die, due to the new owners knowing very little about their needs.

Housing, food, climate, surroundings and vet care are all issues that you will need to consider before getting the exotic pets. You will need to ensure that there is a vet in your area that deals with exotic pets and their needs. If your pet is ill, you will want to ensure that you have someone who can treat them.

Many of these animals will have come from hot climates; therefore, you need to ensure that there housing is kept to the correct temperature. The smallest of changes to the exotic pets care and lifestyle can make them incredibly ill. Exotic pets tend to live far longer than domestic animals; therefore, you have to consider if you are prepared for many years with the animal.

If you have other animals and children in the house, you will need to consider how they will react to the new, exotic pet. Some children will find the animal to be horrible, and others may want to be involved. However, there are immense numbers of exotic pets that are simply to be looked at and not touched.

Once you have considered every factor, and ensured that you do not need a license to own the exotic pets, you can begin to look for one. Searching the Internet is a good start and you will be able to find specialist pet stores, which deal with exotic animals. Learning as much as you can about pet care and necessary elements to keeping the exotic pet healthy will ensure they live for many years.

For more information please see RSPCA.org.uk

Which Exotic Pet is Right for Your Family

Bearded Dragons Available for sale – Things to look for Whenever you Get an Exotic Lizard As a Pet

You’ll find Bearded Dragons available for sale at several pet stores, at reptile shops and through individual owners. However, if you’ve never owned an exotic pet before, you should know how to pick one out. You should make sure you pick the right type as many aren’t as hardy as other types to keep as pets.

Once you take a look at the choices, make sure if the Beardie is in great health. You will discover simplest way to examine health is by watching the behavior of the Beardie. Is he performing tired?

If ever the lizard is acting cowed or if not not thinking about his environment that could be a sign he’s stressed and anxiety leads to bad health in a Beardie. When you see the Bearded Dragons for sale, don’t forget to take a glance at the weight. Do you find it bloated?

When you get a bearded dragon available for purchase, you must consider many very important issues before buying him/her.

Make sure he/she is lively and aware about their environment. Their eyes, nose, and mouth has to be totally free of any type of pus or oozing. They must have no form of sores or bite scars and all their feet and legs are there and they can move and run all around freely.

In addition make sure that when you’re selecting from among the Bearded Dragons for sale whenever you’re a first timer, you don’t get a juvenile that is definitely too young. Aiming to bring up one that’s too young can be hard as they’re not as hardy as an adult. If you decide to pick a young Beardie, make sure you know the exact age and bring one home that’s not not less than 120 days old.

For the best choices of snakes for sale, here is the link you need to follow: Bearded Dragons for Sale.

Iguana Care – The Importance of Cleanliness

Apart from making sure your iguana has adequate food, water and UV rays, one of your major tasks as an iguana owner is keeping your iggy clean.  You may not be aware of it, but iguanas have been known to spread salmonella – a bacteria we usually associate with eggs. Because of these, it’s of vital importance that you keep your iguana and his habitat clean – for his health and for the health of you and your family. By cleaning your iguana’s cage properly, you reduce the odds of ever having a problem to near zero.

Remove Feces Daily  – The most important and most obvious part of keeping your iguana’s habitat clean is to remove all feces and leftover food every day. In fact, I clean out my iguana’s poops as soon as I see them. I don’t want to leave it there contaminating his water (he likes to go in his tub) or getting spread around. If you can, I’d recommend cleaning it immediately – if you feed your iguana at the same time each day, he’ll most likely poop at the same time too, so it should be relatively easy. If you can’t clean it immediately, at least make sure that you clean it every single day without exception.

Keep food and water bowls clean – It kind of goes along with cleaning out the poop; empty out dirty water and remove any food waste immediately. Don’t leave veggie mash or greens in the cage to wilt and get slimy. If your iguana doesn’t eat food within a certain amount of time, get it out of the cage. If your lizard is like mine and poops in the water bowl, you need to empty that and wash the bowl as soon as possible. Water and food dishes should be washed daily, and disinfected at least once a week.

Keep your iguana clean – Your iguana is a naturally clean animal. If he has a body of water big enough, he’ll soak in it himself.  When my iguana was smaller, I used one of those large terra cotta trays that goes underneath flower pots to catch the run-off water – it was about two inches deep and long enough for him to get into and sit.  If your iguana is bigger, you can put him in the bathtub with enough lukewarm water to hit him about mid body. Yes, this is much easier to do if you’ve been taming your iguana since it was tiny! The point is, you need to make sure your iguana has the opportunity to bath and soak. We’ll be writing more on this at a later date.

What do you use to clean your iguana cage? – There are a variety of solutions that can be used to clean out the habitat. I use a solution of bleach at four ounces of bleach mixed into a gallon of water. I use this in a spray bottle to sterilize everything in the cage – from ceiling to the floor to the branches and shelves.   Of course, I take the iguana out while I do this. I also put an ounce of bleach in the soapy water I use when washing my iguanas dishes and tubs and plastic plants.

If you use bleach there are two important things to keep in mind –

  • Let it completely dry and air out before you return the iguana 
  • NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or products that have ammonia in them. 

Another great option is Nolvasan. This is a disinfectant that’s often used by zoos, veterinarians and such. The great thing about it is that not only can it be used to sanitize the cage and everything in it, it can actually be used to clean and disinfect wounds on your iguana (or other pets) if it should happen to become injured. Just make sure you follow the directions and use the proper dilutions.

One last thing – 

Keep yourself clean! You should carefully wash your hands both before and after handling your iguana to avoid the spread of any bacteria. You should also wash your hands well after you’ve cleaned out the cage. Proper cage cleaning and hand cleaning is the best way to avoid not only spreading possible Salmonella infections to you and your family, but also to avoid introducing any kind of germs and bacteria to your iguana. Follow good hygiene protocol to keep you and your iguana healthy and happy!

Here’s an iguana getting a bath – kind of a long video, but it’s amazing to see just how interactive this iguana is!

Tips on Feeding a Pet Iguana

Photo credit: mensatic from morguefile.com

The subject of just what constitutes a proper diet for iguanas is a somewhat debated topic. Many people insist on a certain dry food or a specific combination of fruits and vegetables. The truth is that there are plenty of iguanas out there doing just fine on a variety of diets. What’s important, in my opinion, is that green iguanas need to eat a diet that’s as close as possible to what they would eat in the wild.

And what do they eat in the wild? Leaves and other plant parts. I’ve repeated it in just about every post on this site, and I really feel that it can’t be stressed enough. Iguanas are plant eaters. Remember those charts of the food chain that you had to draw when you were in elementary school? Iguanas are on the bottom of it! They eat plants and then later become prey to be eaten by other animals. It’s the circle of life.

Unfortunately, there is still an unbelievably large number of pet stores and books that will recommend that iguanas be fed mealworms, crickets or other insects as a part of their diet. They are wrong. Animal protein can overload the iguana’s system and send their kidney’s into failure. I don’t know about you, but I’d feel pretty crappy if I was responsible for killing my iguana because I thought it was cool to feed him earthworms. Stay away from animal protein for green iguanas.

What they do need, however, is fresh food and water every day, served in clean dishes. Don’t leave your iguana in a cage with a dirty food dish. You’re just asking for problems when he eats food that’s mixed in with old leftover stuff that’s been growing bacteria for two or three days. Some people feed their iguanas two or even three times a day, and that’s fine. Some iguanas do better when fed several times; others will eat a huge amount once a day and be happy with it. What’s important is that you experiment with your iguana and figure out what its eating habits are. And if there’s any food left over after a meal, take it out so that it isn’t in the cage rotting.

When to Feed Iguanas

The best time to feed your iguana is in the morning, when it’s warming up and getting ready for the day. Iguanas need warmth and sunlight to properly digest their food, so if they eat early in the day they’ll have a full day of sun and warmth to help them digest their food well. Also, feeding your iguana at the same time each morning will help you – because you’ll find that he starts to poop at the same time each day, too. Maintaining regular bowel schedules makes keeping the cage clean easier.

Something to remember when you feed your iguana is that they don’t have big teeth to chew their food. Their mouths are edged with little tiny teeth that they use to rip the leaves and then swallow them whole. Because of this, it’s better for your iguana if you tear their food into smaller bite sized pieces. Green and leaves are pretty much ok just ripped up into manageable sized pieces, but harder to bite veggies like squash or carrots are best shredded. For very small juvenile iguanas, you may want to chop them up very fine.

Just check out this big guy enjoying his leafy greens!

How To Tame Your Baby Green Iguana

Iguana iguana_pgpalmer_taronga_23Jul11-004A question I’m frequently asked by new iguana owners is how do you tame an iguana? After all, iguanas are wild creatures, exotic animals that have the natural instincts of the prey animal that they are. Yes, iguanas are a prey animal – they eat vegetation and are in turn eaten by larger animals like monkeys, wild cats and… humans.  So how do you convince your iguana that it doesn’t need to panic when you pick it up – it doesn’t need to run, bite, scratch or whip its tail because you don’t plan on eating it?

You probably already know that the two big ingredients are time and patience.  It’s important to start when your iguana is a baby – bigger iguanas are much more difficult and dangerous to work with if not tamed.  From day one, you need to treat your iguana with tender loving care.  Always work slowly and be gentle – make sure you don’t do anything that would teach your iggy to associate people with danger or discomfort.  It really takes a LOT of patience, because baby iguanas can be real wigglers!  Until your iguana is very comfortable with being handled, you’ll want to make sure that you only take it out in an escape proof location.  Make sure all the exits are blocked – even the space under the door could be a possible escape route, so block it with a towel if you need to.

The best time to work with your iguana is early in the morning, when it’s still a little cool and drowsy. Approach your baby iguana slowly and quietly – avoid the temptation to grab it quickly!  In fact, for the first few days, don’t pick it up at all! Just put your hand inside the enclosure while talking quietly to your iguana. Once it seems to accept your hand near it, you can start gently touching its body, then up to the head.  You can also offer a little bit of food as you stroke your iguana – this way it will associate you with good things going on!

When your iguana accepts your touch without any sign of distress – which may take from a day to a couple of weeks – you can begin moving your hand underneath its body.  Put one hand under the front feet, and put your other hand towards the back of the body.  When you’ve got a solid grip, lift it up and out of the cage.  If the iguana starts struggling or appears afraid, let back gently in the cage. Whatever you do, don’t grab it by the tail! Like most lizards, iguanas will shed their tails if they feel they’re in danger. While the tail will usually grow back, it’s pretty traumatic and not something you want to have happen.

If your iguana is very young, you’ll probably be comfortable holding it in the palm of one hand with its tail trailing up your arm. But be careful to keep the other hand cupped over it so that it doesn’t make a surprise jump and escape.  As long as you’re in a room that has absolutely no escape – under doors, down the toilet, out a window, through a vent – just sit quietly and let your iguana get used to being held.  This is a great time to give him a littlevtreat like a bit of grated carrot or squash – my iguana loves hibiscus petals. And of course, make sure that you always provide support for the iguana’s body – you want it to feel secure when it’s being held.

Choosing a Baby Iguana

Baby iguanaSo you’ve seen some cute little baby iguanas at the pet store, and decided that you just HAVE to have one!

It’s understandable! Juvenile iguanas can be downright adorable, with their bright green scales and inquisitive eyes.

But before you take the plunge and bring that cute little lizard home with you, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

1) Picking a healthy baby: When you select the iguana you want, it may be tempting to look for the calmest in the tank at the pet store, the one that sits still when people come near. This is a bad choice – baby iguanas should have a natural fear of large creatures coming close, or of hands swooping down on them. An iguana that just sits still and doesn’t move when the rest are racing around is probably sick.

Instead, look for a juvenile iguana that alert. It’s eyes should be bright and clear. It’s body shouldn’t have any sores, cuts or unusual marks. Check carefully for any unusual bumps or protrusions that may signify an abscess or other internal injury. It should go without saying that if the tank or cage in the pet store isn’t real clean, you shouldn’t buy an iguana there. Dirty cages are breeding grounds for bacteria and disease.

2) Have a cage ready before you bring the baby iguana home: If you haven’t thought about housing for your iguana, the time to do it is BEFORE you bring it into your home. For a baby iguana, a large (40-50 gallon or more) fish tank will do nicely, but there are a few things that will need to be in it. Make sure that it has a substrate (floor covering) that is easy to clean but that won’t make your iguana sick. You’ll need to have heat lamps and UV lamps to keep your iguana healthy. Have places for the iguana to hide, and appropriately sized branches to climb and bask on. Finally, remember that this tank isn’t going to be a permanent home for your iguana. As it grows, it’s going to need a much, much larger home.  Click here to see more on setting up your tank.

3) Iguanas are a true commitment:  As hinted at above, iguanas grow very large. Within 3-4 years, they can reach lengths of up to six feet. A healthy, well cared for iguana can also live for as many as twenty years. So we’re talking about a pet that will need a very large space to live in and will need it for a very long time. If you’re an adult who owns a home, this isn’t a big deal. If you’re a junior high or high school student, it’s a whole new situation.

What’s going to happen when your iguana outgrows it’s cage? Will your parents let you take over a guest room as a home for your iguana? And what happens if you leave for college, or the military, or move into your own apartment that doesn’t allow pets? What are you going to do with your 5 foot long, eight or ten year old lizard when that happens?

Finally – before you rush off to buy a little baby iguana from the local pet shop, remember that the iguana importation trade is a very rough life for these critters. Even if they pet store claims that their lizards are captive bred, this isn’t always completely true; they often capture pregnant females and hold them until they lay the eggs, then sell the hatchlings. You’re still looking at baby iguanas that could have picked up illnesses or parasites from their mother.

Look for a reputable reptile breeder in your area. Odds are you’ll find a much healthier iguana baby, and you’ll also have someone who can give you valuable information on raising and caring for your new pet.

Or, adopt an iguana. As mentioned, iguanas get big and live a long time – that means that frequently, people have to get rid of a beloved pet. One word of caution: make sure when adopting a “previously owned” pet that it is healthy and has actually been well taken care of. You don’t want to adopt a pet and then find yourself immediately having to spend hundreds of dollars on veterinary care.

Are You Accidentally Killing Your Pet Iguana?

green iguana as petWhen you purchase an animal as a pet, you take on the responsibility of giving it the best possible care. No one wants to do anything to a pet that may harm it, make it sick, or even accidentally cause its death. But there are a lot of misconceptions about green iguanas that can cause otherwise loving owners to do exactly that.

Even if your pet manages to survive, you could be facing extreme veterinary bills if your exotic pet becomes ill. It only makes sense that you’d want to do whatever you can to keep it healthy. To that end, here are three major mistakes to avoid when caring for a green iguana.

1) Never use sand or other particulates as a substrate (floor cover) in a green iguana cage. If you spend much time watching your iguana, you’ll see that – much like snakes – it tests everything around it with its tongue. Grains of sand or other small particles (pebbles, wood chips) can stick to the tongue and then be swallowed by your lizard. This kind of foreign matter can block the digestive system leading to some expensive veterinary bills – or even to the death of your pet in a very short time.

You’re best off sticking with vinyl tiles or indoor-outdoor carpeting as a substrate for your iguana’s habitat.

2) Never feed your iguana animal proteins like insects or cat food. Green iguanas are herbivorous animals, meaning that they survive by eating plants in the wild. While it’s not uncommon for an iguana to munch on a bug or worm that happened to be making its way across a leaf or flower petal, it’s not something they do on purpose. They’re bodies aren’t designed to process protein from animal source.

Not following this rule can lead to big problems. First of all, the high levels of protein can cause problems with their renal system, causing its kidneys to fail, making your iguana very ill. Also, when you’re feeding proteins, your iguana isn’t getting the nutrition it needs – so while you think he’s getting plenty of food, he’s actually starving.  Needless to say, kidney failure and starving to death are both slow and painful ways to die. Don’t make your pet suffer – feed your iguana the proper diet consisting of lots of fresh, colorful vegetables.


Iguanas enjoying a healthy meal of greens and veggies!

3) Don’t keep your iguana in a cage that’s too small for it. There’s this crazy myth that iguanas won’t grow too big if they’re kept in a small cage. It’s just not true – a healthy iguana that’s getting plenty of food will continue to grow no matter how small the cage is. He’ll just be miserably unhappy as he gets bigger and bigger.

So, how small is too small? An iguana cage should be twice as wide as your iguana is long.  It should be deep enough for the iguana to turn around comfortably. The height of the cage should be 1.5 time the length of your iguana, minimum.  So, a two-foot long iguana would need a cage that is at minimum 4 feet wide x1.5 feet deep x3 feet tall. One of the biggest misunderstandings about green iguanas is just how big a cage they need to live com. And remember – they grow very quickly the first few years, and can easily reach a length of four to six feet in that time!

If you make sure to keep these three rules in mind, you’ll have eliminated many of the problems that many iguana owners face. Of course, you’ll also need to keep your iguana warm and properly hydrated as well as provide it with the necessary UV rays for it’s health, but by following the rules listed above, you’ll be able to solve or avoid the most common problems found in pet iguanas.

What To Expect From a Pet Iguana

Green iguana @Melbourne ZooIguanas have become the ‘pet du jour’ and there are literally thousands being kept as pets around the country. Unfortunately, many pet stores sell baby iguanas to people (who often have little or no knowledge of what they’re getting into) without giving them any information on feeding, habitat or care – other than what extras they can sell. If you’ve recently bought or are thinking of buying an iguana, this article is for you!

Iguanas are the most popular of the lizards to be kept as pets, although leopard geckos and bearded dragons are also becoming very popular. While they used to be considered a “fad” or “niche” pet, they’ve actually become quite mainstream – it’s estimated that there are more reptile pets in the UK than there are dogs and cats!

Iguanas are fairly inexpensive to buy and aren’t difficult to care for; however they are fairly high maintenance, with specific habitat and feeding needs. Veterinary care and cage requirements are the two most expensive things to keep in mind with a pet iguana. Their food and housing needs are quite rigid, and failure to care for them properly can bring on many health problems.

Another thing many don’t take into account is the fact that a well fed and well cared for iguana will grow quite large – as long as six feet long! That means it requires a very large cage, something many people don’t take into a count when they buy an 8 inch long juvenile lizard. They also have a long life span and if not properly handled and tamed while young can become quite aggressive when older.

Obviously, then, it’s important that you know how to care for and house your iguana. You need to keep it’s cage sanitary – they do have a tendency to use their water dish as a toilet, so it’s important that it’s kept clean. You also should keep your iguana away from very young children, pregnant women and the elderly, as they can spread salmonella poisoning which can be life-threatening to those with weaker immune systems.

The “iguana iguana”, or green iguana, is the most popular of the pet iguanas. The green iguana is a vegetarian who likes to climb. They need a large, tall cage with branches and vines that they can climb. They’ll also need places where they can sit and bask, either in direct sunlight or under special heat lamps and lights that provide UV rays which are necessary for their health. Of course, it’s also important that the iguana is protected from any bulbs or heaters – you don’t want them getting burned!

As mentioned, it’s also important that you know how to properly feed your iguana. As a vegetarian, feeding them food that’s too high in protein (like crickets, meal worms or cat food) can make them extremely ill and even lead to kidney failure. It can’t be stressed enough that iguanas should NEVER be fed any kind of meat or animal protein. A diet that contains about half greens (like collards, dandelions and turnip greens) mixed with about half other vegetables like yellow squash, green beans, bell peppers and sweet potatoes will provide the nutrients that your iguana needs. Some plants from the garden are okay too, as long as you are absolutely sure that there is no chance of contamination from pesticides or herbicides. My iguana loves to eat a hibiscus flower occasionally! They can also have a little bit of fruit as a treat – bananas, mango, and melons are all good choice – but it shouldn’t be more than 5% of your lizards total diet.

Of course, like all creatures, you’ll find that your iguana has it’s own preferences when it comes to food – some love collards but won’t eat mustard greens, for example. Try to give your pet a variety of healthy foods when it’s young so that it can develop a taste for a more varied diet – variety provides more nutrition. As your pet iguana grows, learn everything you can about its behavior and needs – remember that its very health and existence depends on you.

Facts About Iguanas

General Iguana Facts

Iguanas have become a really popular pet over the last decade, and their popularity doesn’t seem to be dying down at all. Most of the species of iguana come from tropical and subtropical forests, but there are also some that come from the desert and from the seashore (like the island iguanas in the Bahamas). You can find iguanas in places as far flung as Canada, the Caribbean, Madagascar, and the South Pacific island nation of Fiji.

Iguanas are one of the largest members of the lizard family and are the most popular as pets. As reptiles, they are an egg-laying, cold-blooded creature that relies on its environment to maintain its body temperature.

As you might suspect, different types of iguanas have a lot of differences in their behavior, size and appearance. Some common iguanas like the popular green iguana and the red iguana are found in large numbers in the wild, but others, like the Fiji banded iguana are endangered and at risk in the wild.

Iguana species are sometimes hard to recognize as parts of the same family, they look and act so differently. While some iguanas have dull greenish or brown skin, others have vividly bright colors. There’s so much variety in the lizards because each species has adapted to live in its own habitat.

Iguana as pets

In the US, iguanas are very popular pet.  While iguanas may at first glance seem relatively easy to care for, its very important to educate yourself on the proper handling of the lizard. Each species has very specific care and feeding needs that are required to maintain them in good health.

Most iguanas are herbivores, and eat fruit, vegetables, and even flowers. Some iguanas also eat insects, like crickets or mealworms. It’s very important to know what your iguanas feeding needs are – feeding insects to a herbivorous iguana can cause deadly kidney problems.

Healthy, well-cared for iguanas will grow very rapidly – in just 24 months a hatchling iguana can quintuple it’s length. Fully grown iguanas can easily reach 5-6 feet in length, including the tail. That rapid growth is one reason why it’s so important to properly feed and house your iguana. Without proper nutrition and habitat with proper sun exposure, iguanas run the risk of metabolic bone diseases and fractures.

How Can You Tell Males from Females?

The male iguana will typically have large fat pockets on the back of its head. They usually are more “jowly” and have large femoral pores underneath the thigh. Males will also have larger and blockier heads than the females. Females don’t have the fat pockets behind their head that the males do, and also don’t have the heavy jowls. The femoral pores will be noticeably smaller on females.

A male iguana who is courting a female will erect the spines along his back, and will bob his head to attract her attention. At this time, male iguanas can become very aggressive. Females at mating time will burrow into the soil in a sunny area to make a nest for her eggs. She’ll lay the eggs into the hole and leave them covered for the sun to warm.

Iguanas in the wild face a variety of dangers to their existence. They are a prey animal, hunted by other animals – including humans. They have also suffered from a serious loss of habitat. Iguana fans can help by educating others on iguanas in the wild. Other ways of helping iguanas include captive breeding programs and restrictions on hunting wild iguanas.

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