The green iguanas or those which take the name of “Iguana iguana” are commonly found all over the South and Central America, in Mexico, in the southeastern part of Brazil, eastern Pacific, and the Caribbean. Breeds of the green iguana are now also spotted in Hawaii and Florida. The green iguana is popularly the largest type of lizard that happens to inhabit much of the territories of United States.
The Physical Description of the Green Iguana
In a matter of three years, the young twelve-gram green iguana can turn into a one kilogram adult green iguana. Right after they get hatched, their length varies from 17 to up to 25 centimeters. Most of the well-fed matured green iguanas come to weigh at about 4 and 6 kilograms but at times they reach the 8 kilogram weight.
The term green iguana does not stereotype these reptiles. The matured iguanas come in uniform colors whereas the younger ones vary between brown and green. Their colors can also get affected by their health, mood, temperature, and social statures.
One of the distinct features they have is the dewlap that can be found under their throats. The dewlap is much dominant in the male green iguanas rather than in the females. The laterally positioned eyes of the green iguanas are being protected by some immovable eyelids and mobile lower eyelids. The parietal eye functions as some kind of a meter for the solar energy and contributes much to the maturity of the endocrine and thyroid glands in these reptiles. Lastly, the plates or scales on their heads are much irregular and larger compared to the scales found on the rest of their body parts.
The Habitat of the Green Iguana
Arboreal lizards—these are what green iguanas are and they therefore enjoy living on top of tree canopies. The younger green iguanas tend to stay in the lower portions but the matured ones like it high above. This kind of dwelling technique allows them to do basking in the sun and they rarely go down with the exception of the time when the female green iguanas deem the need to dig their burrows so they can lay their eggs. They still prefer to have water around their habitat so that they can easily escape the predators who love to attack them. They are great swimmers so they most of the times successfully manage to avoid their predators.
The Development of an Iguana
Right after an estimated 65 days upon the mating period, the female green iguana is now ready to lay her eggs. The number and size of the eggs depend upon the size of the female iguana. Within a three-day period, about 10 to 30 pale-colored eggs get deposited into the nests. Other nests can be shared by many female iguanas especially when there is a very limited space for them. Actually, the female iguanas do not guard their nests but they do visit their eggs from time to time. The incubation for the iguana eggs last from about 90 up to 120 days. The hatchlings are the ones that crack their egg shells open by making use of their special egg teeth which are known as the caruncle. The yolks in the eggs are the providers of nourishment for the young iguanas.