Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Green, Brown, Yellow|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Lowland tropical rainforest near water|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Insects, Fruit, Leaves|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Hawk, Eagle, Snakes|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long tongue and change skin colour with mood|
Map of South America
Iguanas are native to the jungles of central and south America, and the Caribbean. The iguana is a large docile species of lizard, meaning that iguanas are often a popular choice when keeping exotic pets.
Iguanas have excellent sight allowing the iguana to detect movement from incredibly long distances. The iguana can use this skill to seek out prey and be aware of approaching predators often before the predator has even noticed the iguana.
It is said that the iguana uses visual signals to communicate with other iguanas. The iguanas do this through a series of rapid eye movements that other iguanas are able to pick up on easily due to the excellent sight of the iguana.
Green Iguanas are forest dwelling lizards that live high in the tree canopy of the South American rainforest. Young iguanas get to grips with tree top living by staying in areas lower in the canopies while older mature adult iguanas reside higher up in the tree tops. This tree dwelling habit allows the iguana to bask in the sun, with little need to go down to the forest floor below. The only real exception to this is when the female iguanas must come down from their sky high home in order to dig burrows in which the female iguanas lay their eggs.
Although iguanas tend to prefer the forest environment, iguanas can adjust well to more open areas. However, wherever the iguanas inhabit, iguanas prefer to have water around them as iguanas are excellent swimmers and will often dive beneath the water to avoid oncoming predators.
Although iguanas are classed as omnivores, most iguana individuals in the wild, tend to enjoy a very herbivorous diet, with ripened fruit being one of the iguanas favourite foods along with leafy green plants. Most mature adult iguanas weigh around 4 kg, but it is not uncommon for large, healthy iguanas where food is in good supply, to weigh up to 8 kg and grow to over 2 meters in length.
Due to the natural green and brown colours of the scales of the iguana, iguanas are easily able to make themselves invisible to predators. Iguanas do this well as the iguana blends extremely effectively into the surrounding forest and the iguana will then remain extremely still until the predator has passed. Iguanas will often choose basking spots on those tree branches that hang over water so that if the iguana does feel threated, the iguana can leap from the tree into the water and therefore the iguana can quickly escape oncoming danger.
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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]