Green iguanas are a type of reptile commonly found in all parts of Central and South America, from Mexixo to Brazil and even over on the Caribbean Islands. There is no proof that the creature is endangered, although it is very often hunted for food. The green iguana is a delicacy in some cultures, especially in areas of high poverty – it’s sometimes known by the name ‘tree chicken’.
The Physical Appearance of the Green Iguana
Fully grown green iguanas are usually from four to six feet in length, including the tail. The tail actually makes up a good half of the full body length. While green is the dominant color of the iguanas they can range from a bright emerald green to a dull muddy greenish-brown. You’ll so note that the iguanas have distinctive black markings along their body. Being reptiles, iguanas have scales, which in this case are a bit pointed making their skin rough textured. They have long toes and claws on their feet which facilitates climbing in the trees where they spend most of their time.
What is the Green Iguana Habitat Like?
Green iguanas are typically from the tropical rainforest areas, specifically in areas with lower altitudes and accessible water resources like streams and rivers. They’ll spend most of their time up in the trees, at about forty to fifty feet high above the ground.
The Adaptations of the Green Iguana
Apart from the claws and long toes mentioned above, green iguanas have various other adaptations for the life they live. They have incredibly keen senses of hearing, sight and smell, which help them detect and avoid predators. The long tail mentioned earlier is used for balance in the trees, and is also a great defense mechanism. The end of the tail is thin and sharp, and the iguana swings it like a whip when it feels threatened. Like many lizards, iguanas can drop their tail if it is grabbed by a predator, allowing the iguana to escape. The tail will eventually grow back in most cases.
Iguanas have very tough skin, allowing them to avoid scratches and cuts as they move through the branches of the trees. Their green coloring and markings help them blend into the leaves and shadows. If detected by a predator, the iguana can jump down quite a long distance without being injured. They are also excellent swimmers, and can dive into a stream to escape.