Tags: Rainforest Library
Like other reptiles, iguanas accredit their good looks to the dinosaurs that used to roam the Earth.
There are over 200 species of reptiles found in Costa Rica. Some of the more frequently seen reptiles in Costa Rica is the Green Iguana
Most iguanas live in the rainforests of Central and South America but some come from drier areas and along the coasts. Young iguanas are a very light green and blend in well with their natural habitat. Their tail is striped and this also help them blend in. Older iguanas live high up in the trees. All iguanas are excellent climbers. They are also great swimmers. They hold their legs close to their body and propel through the water using their tail, much the same way as crocodiles and alligators swim.
Iguanas can reach a length of 5-7 feet. Weighing as much as 18 pounds. In the wild, iguanas are expected to live for 10-15 years.
Iguanas are pretty strict herbivores, choosing to eat leaves and plants, though sometimes they’ll eat small insects to supplement their protein intake.
Green iguanas have good senses of hearing and smell, and superb vision. Their long tail is also quite sharp, and is snapped in the air as a defense mechanism. The tail can also break off if caught by a predator, but grows back without permanent damage. Green iguana skin is very water resistant, and tough to avoid cuts and scratches.
Like many tropical species, the green iguana is also threatened by habitat destruction. The green iguana is also a victim of the pet industry. Many people in the United States and elsewhere want a green iguana for a pet, so there is a big demand for their capture. Although many pet iguanas are now being raised on iguana farms, capture from the wild has lowered their numbers.
Many people find that iguanas make good pets. However, like other reptiles, they are not easy to care for, and provide a companionship that only a reptile-lover could stand. They are not aggressive, despite looking like a throw-back to the dinosaur age.
Iguanas are masters of camouflage, blending into their surroundings is their best form of protection from predators.
Male green iguanas have a special flap of skin called the dewlap. Male iguanas can raise their dewlap to appear bigger than they really are, either to intimidate predators, or to impressive females. Both male and female green iguanas can store fat under their jaws and in their necks for times when there is not much food available.