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Green Iguana

Iguana iguana
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
Central America, South America
Tropical forests near water

The Green Iguana's diet consists of leaves, flowers, and fruits. They have very sharp teeth that they use to shred leaves.

Most Green Iguanas are green in colour, although they can display other colours as well.

Basking is an important behavior for Green Iguanas. As ectothermic reptiles, they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. Basking allows them to absorb sunlight and raise their body temperature.

They can fall from heights of up to 15 meters without getting injured. Green Iguanas are naturally preyed upon by birds of prey, so they have a third "eye" on top of their head that can detect shadows approaching from above. When threatened by a predator, they will attempt to flee. If cornered, they extend their dewlap, puff up their body, hiss, and bob their heads to display a warning that they are able to defend themselves with their long tail, claws, and teeth. The tail also has prominent dark bands that may call attention to its potential as a weapon. Iguanas also use their dewlap and head bobbing in different ways for social interactions, such as greetings or finding potential mates.

Females lay anywhere from 20 to 71 eggs once per year and do not protect the eggs after laying them. Young iguanas leave the nest after 10 to 15 weeks. The Green Iguana starts out life small, but can grow up to 1.5 meters long and up to 9 kilograms!  They also live up to 20 years.