DescriptionArboreal; earthy green lizard with transverse bands on the body and tail; short, powerful limbs; sharp claws; long, strong tail; large flap of skin (dewlap) that hangs from throat and helps to regulate temperature; prominent crest of soft spines along the middle of the neck and back, beginning at base of the skull Male: Males typically have brighter overall coloration than females SizeMale: 120-195 cm (4-6.5 ft) as adults Female: Slightly smaller than males Weight4.5-6.75 kg (10-15 lb.)DietOmnivorous as young but adults are almost exclusively herbivores; fruits, flowers, leaves; insects and snails opportunistically; young iguanas eat more insects and shift to 95% vegetation as they ageIncubation60-85 days Clutch Size: 10-50 eggs Sexual Maturity2 years; males sometimes longer (need longer period of growth in order to be large enough to compete for females)Life Span15 years Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Reptilia Order Squamata Family Iguanidae Genus Species Iguana iguana (West Indian for lizard) Diet of the Iguana The vast majority of this reptile’s diet consists of plant matter, which makes it an herbivore. Their primary food sources are flowers, fruits, leaves, freshly grown shoots, and greens. It is also common for young individuals to consume the feces of adults to help them acquire the gut bacteria necessary for digesting so much plant matter. Iguana and Human Interaction These lizards are common pets, and are sold in pet stores virtually worldwide. The pet trade, along with decades of hunting, has actually put quite a strain on the native populations of these creatures. In their natural range some populations have been almost entirely decimated. Invasive populations, however, are booming. The invasive populations can be dangerous to local flora and fauna, as they put additional pressure on species that are already threatened. Domestication Though these reptiles can be successfully bred in human care, and are selectively bred for size and disposition, they are not domesticated. Does the Iguana Make a Good Pet To the right owner, Iguanas can make wonderful pets. It is important to understand the commitment of choosing a pet Iguana. They can live well over 20 yrs. if properly cared for, and can grow up to 6 ft. long. Please do your research before considering any animal as a pet. Iguana Care Iguanas can thrive in human care, provided that they are cared for properly. They have strict nutritional needs that must be met, or they can develop kidney failure, metabolic bone disease, and other illnesses. They must also be provided with a light source, and kept in temperatures between 79 – 95º F to maintain health. In some places it is illegal to own an Iguana as a pet, so be sure to check your local laws before considering purchasing one. Behavior of the Iguana These creatures are fairly social, and commonly found in close proximity to one another. Males are quite territorial, and will defend a territory from other males. This protects his food sources, making his territory more attractive to females. Males will perform aggressive or territorial displays by bobbing their heads and waving the dewlaps under their chins. Reproduction of the Iguana Once a female has chosen a likely mate, they will breed. All of the females lay in a synchronized fashion, and each female can produce between 20 and 71 eggs per clutch. She will dig a burrow, and defend it from other females and predators until she has laid her eggs.