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August 2015′s Animal Of The Month – Green Iguanas

By August 31, 2015 No Comments

We’re sure they enjoyed their time basking in the spotlight over the past month, but now it’s time to bid the green iguana a fond farewell as our August edition of Animal of the Month comes to a close.  We hope you enjoyed our tweets about these social and popular reptiles while you followed us on Twitter @ExoticPetVets. Here is a summary of our tweets in case you missed any. Did you know?:

  • The green iguana (Iguana iguana) is also known as the common iguana.
  • Green iguanas are popular pets, but they can be aggressive if they’re not handled or properly socialized.
  • Adult green iguanas in captivity need an enormous amount of space.
  • A full-grown adult male iguana can reach up to 2 metres (6.5 feet) long, while females are around 1.5 metres (5 feet).
  • An enclosure for a captive green iguana should be a minimum of 12’ long x 6’ wide x 6’ high.
  • Green iguanas are naturally found in Central and South America and parts of Mexico.
  • Feral green iguana populations in Hawaii, California, Florida and Puerto Rico originate from escaped or released pets.
  • In 2012, the green iguana population in Puerto Rico got so big, the government ordered them killed.
  • Green iguanas are arboreal, meaning they live in trees and bushes.
  • Green iguanas are sometimes called “chicken of the trees” in parts of Central America where iguana meat is eaten.
  • In 1995, uprooted trees from two hurricanes carried some green iguanas to Anguilla where they’re not naturally found.
  • Green iguanas have very long tails which they can use as a whip for defense.
  • Green iguanas can lose their tails if they’re handled roughly. Their tails can grow back slowly and are duller in colour.
  • Green iguanas have a distinctive row of spines, or a crest, running down their backs.
  • Green iguanas have a parietal eye, which is also known as a “third eye” or pineal eye.
  • This parietal eye is a photosensory gland that is a white spot on the top of the green iguana’s head.
  • Despite it’s name, green iguanas can’t see out of the parietal eye but they can tell light from dark.
  • The parietal eye helps green iguanas detect avian predators overhead. It also helps control body temperature & hormone production.
  • Female green iguanas are bright green while males are duller and have orange on the crests and other parts of their body.
  • In addition to being larger, male green iguanas have larger heads, jowls and dorsal crests than females.
  • Male green iguanas also have larger femoral pores on their inner thighs than their female counterparts.
  • Green iguanas are generally very social and in the wild can be seen foraging for food and basking in the sun together.
  • Despite their good temperament, green iguanas are terrible pets for kids and are best left to serious reptile enthusiasts.

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