If you’re interested in having a pet iguana, you should be studying up on all the information about them that you can find. To help you along, here are some vital facts on the reptile:
- 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.
- 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.
- You’ll notice a flap of skin below the throat – this is called a dewlap. You can clearly see it in the photo above. 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.
- Iguanas have a crest of soft spines that run down their neck and back. Generally, male iguanas have longer spines than the females.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.