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Meet the Noble Iguana, Prince of Lizards

July 27, 2020

Meet the Noble Iguana, Prince of Lizards at SeaQuest Littleton, Colorado

The green Iguana is a large herbivorous reptile naturally found in most warm climate areas such as southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Mexico. If the Komodo Dragon is the king of lizards, this slightly smaller cousin is definitely the Prince of Lizards. With their noble appearance and gentle nature, it’s not hard to see why so many people love these wonderful reptiles.  

 

What Does an Herbivore Eat?

The Green Iguana is an herbivore, meaning it survives off of a diet of plants and fruit. In the wild they eat mostly leaves, vines, fruits, and flowers. A favorite food of Iguanas in Panama is the wild plum. Iguanas in captivity are fed a balanced diet of turnip greens, fruits, mustard greens, flowers, dandelion greens, and growing shoots of various plants. With the help of our vets at SeaQuest Littleton, Colorado, we are able to ensure our herbivorous friends get the best diet possible.

The Iguana equivalent of junk food is meat. On rare occasions, they’ve been seen eating eggs or small insects in the wild. Scientists studying these magnificent lizards have found that a heavy diet of meat or insects is hazardous to Iguanas, and they don’t appear to receive any benefits from eating it. So why do they do it? Scientifically, there is no rhyme or reason to this, so most experts just call it iguana junk food. 

 

An Iguana’s Guide to Reptile Communication

The small flap of skin under an iguanas chin is called the dewlap. The dewlap is used to communicate with other iguanas and make themselves look bigger to other predators. You can watch their head and dewlap movements to understand what they’re trying to tell you. To talk to one another, they move their dewlap and bob their head. When they begin to bob their head quickly, it is a sign that the Iguana is upset, but slower head bobs are used to greet one another. 

 

Speedy Facts About The Iguana

  • Iguanas are fast creatures, they can reach speeds up to 21 MPH.
  • Iguanas have a long lifespan. In captivity, they can live for more than 20 years. Some iguanas have been known to live to be 30 years old. 
  • Iguanas can reach up to 6’ from nose to tail tip, and more than half of that length is just their tail. The average adult male iguana will weigh 9 pounds, but some have been recorded to reach 18 pounds.
  • Even though they’re called ‘green’ iguanas, they actually come in a variety of colors! You can find them in blue, orange, and even purple. Their tough, colorful skin acts as camouflage to help them hide in the wild
  • Due to tropical storms and the pet trade, the green Iguana has begun to set up colonies in new areas. In 1995, 15 wild iguanas arrived in the Caribbean after a hurricane, sailing in on downed trees. Within two years, the colony was established. By 2012, it’s believed the population reached 4 million.
  • Green Iguanas are excellent swimmers. When confronted by a predator, they’ll dive into nearby water and swim away from danger.
  • Iguanas love to spend time in trees, and can survive a fall of 40 to 50 feet without injury! 

The Green Iguana isn’t the only fascinating creature we have at SeaQuest Littleton, Colorado. If you’re looking to meet an animal that looks like it comes from deep in outer space, the Axolotl is always a blast. If you’re looking to meet a friend from the deep sea, you might just love the fantastic Comb Jelly.

Book your tickets to SeaQuest Littleton, Colorado today, and get to know the magnificent Iguana today! Buy your SeaQuest Tickets here!

Learn more about SeaQuest in Littleton, Colorado, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

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