Iguanas – What are They?

Iguanas are a type of lizard.  They are one of the most popular of the so-called exotic pets today. In fact, you can easily find iguanas at most pet shops for a fairly low price. The iguanas that are sold in these pet shops are usually very young juveniles. People see them and think that they’re cute, plus they’re so small it’s assumed they must be easy to care for.  But the truth is they grow bigger – MUCH bigger – and have a tendency to become aggressive if not tamed and handled often from a young age.

Iguanas can be a good pet but like any other pets they need proper feeding and care. To understand the proper way to care for iguanas, it is important that you have knowledge of the basic nature of iguanas, their feeding habits, their habitat, and other issues relevant to their lives.

Iguanas belong to the family of lizards. Specifically they are a member of the family Iguanidae. They are deemed to be an invasive species that are mostly found along the shores of Gasparilla Island and the coastline of the gulf of Florida. They are commonly seen in the beach and attics of houses. But generally speaking, iguanas thrive best in the wilds especially in deserts and rain forests.

There are various species of iguana. They normally vary depending on the environment in which they live. Some iguanas dwell in dry lands while others make their home in rain forests. Some are even found in the sea. These iguanas are called marine iguanas.  By and large, iguanas are classified into four major kinds namely: marine iguana, green iguana, blue iguana and lesser Antillean iguana.  In terms of the food they eat, iguanas are known as herbivores. They feed on leaves, fruits, and other parts of plants.

Iguana eating leaves

Iguanas have different features and behavior. In essence, a male iguana looks and acts in a different way compared to a female iguana.  In terms of territorial behavior, a male iguana will fight tooth and nail with other male iguanas even if their life is at risk. They do this to win supremacy over the territory. A male iguana will find other males and wage in war. Just like humans, the male iguanas have ego, they want to be the only powerful male iguana in a certain territory. They seek out for other males to declare war and mate with females.

Other things that are important to know about iguanas is that they are arboreal. This means they dwell in trees and it’s just natural for them to like to climb.  A pet iguana will do best in a habitat that is tall enough to let them climb, and has branches or shelves up high on which they can stretch out and bask.

All in all, if you want to keep an iguana as a pet, you have to take into consideration the do’s and don’ts of caring for them. The cage of your pet iguana should be cleaned well regularly. And also the cage must be very big. In addition, you have to take into account that your pet iguana should have the appropriate kind of lighting, a supply of heat and water. They should be fed on a daily basis. It is important to feed them properly so as to keep them on good physical shape. And most importantly, the iguana should be taken to the vet for a checkup at least once a year. When you have understood all these things, then you’re ready to house an iguana.

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