Today at Light Future Art, we’re going to share some interesting facts about iguanas, including some facts which blew my mind when I learned them!
1. Iguanas actually have three eyes! Okay, their third eye is significantly less perceptive than the other two, but they have a patch of skin on top of their head which is sensitive to light and alerts the iguana of movements overhead. This is called the parietal eye.
2. Many species of iguanas are arboreal and are agile climbers. They can even survive falls from the treetops from heights of 50 feet, using their claws to grip onto leaves and branches to break their fall.
3. It is believed that iguanas may communicate with one another through eye movements. To talk to one another, iguanas have often been observed to make quick eye movements.
4. Most iguana species typically lay about 20 eggs per clutch, but the green iguana usually lays more than 60 eggs!
5. Iguanas do not raise their offspring, simply laying the eggs in a warm nest and leaving. In Central America, iguana nest sites are often shared by alligators or caimans. After hatching, the baby iguanas stay together for the first year. They are fully grown at three years old.
6. Iguanas, like geckos, are capable of detaching their tails to flee predators and then regrowing another one. They don’t have many predators, although animals like cats, hawks, and snakes do pose threats.
7. Iguanas are powerful swimmers, but they don’t swim quite like how you’d imagine. Instead of using their legs to propel themselves, iguanas move through the water using only their tails.
8. Iguanas have very sharp serrated teeth which can tear through the tough vegetation they eat. When the iguanadon was first discovered, the similarity in their teeth led scientists to think they had discovered a gigantic iguana fossil, hence the name.
9. The name “iguana” comes from the native Taino name for the animal, “iwana”. Some Spanish-speaking countries also call them “garrabo”.
10. Iguanas are herbivorous, usually. In the wild, they eat leaves and other foliage, much of which is tough and has led to iguanas developing a strong bite force. In captivity, however, iguanas have eaten insects and worms.
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