Facts About Iguanas
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Facts About Iguanas

Pet iguanas, sold at around $35 when full-grown, can grow to as long as five to six feet, if they are cared for properly. With their size growth potential, the pet will require fairly large cages of up to six feet in length. These reptiles continue to grow in their entire lifetime, and it would be quite easy for a young iguana in its first year to outgrow the space in a 55-gallon sized aquarium. A six-foot high enclosure with a width a least half of the lizard’s length would an ideal habitat for this pet. This will allow the reptile to roam freely and enable it to exercise its climbing ability.

Reptile Coloration Varies

Accurate background information is critical in order to raise pets successfully, and hence, a clear understanding of iguana facts should be had by those who want to keep these reptiles as their hobby. The most common species of this lizard kept as a pet is the common iguana or the green iguana, native to several areas in South and Central America. There are also wild populations of common iguanas in some parts of the U.S., such as South Florida, Hawaii, and Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

This reptile sports various colors, although their skin is predominantly green. Depending on their natural habitat, some may appear as having bluish skin with bold black patterns. Other reptiles in this species may have colorings ranging from lavender, black, and pink.

Exotic Herbivores

They make for exotic pets essentially because of the row of spines that runs along their backs. These spines form as a defense mechanism against the lizards’ predators. The reptiles also use their tails for defense purposes, either using them as a whip or allowing them to break in order to escape the clutches of a predator. Dewlaps at the iguanas chin likewise make these lizards distinctive pets. Iguanas use this anatomical feature for territorial displays and attracting mates.

These reptiles are herbivorous and are equipped with very sharp teeth designed for shredding even the toughest of leaves. As pets, the iguana will thrive on a diet of green leaf lettuces, mustard greens, collars, and turnip greens. It is not advisable to serve animal protein to a pet iguana which is essentially a vegetarian. This is contrary to some outdated beliefs that these reptiles eat insects and can therefore be given animal protein as their pet food. If you want a pet iguana to grow large and be healthy and longer-lived, a vegetable diet would be the way to go.

Designing the Pet’s Habitat

In designing the enclosure, some other iguana facts have to be considered. These are cold-blooded creatures. Therefore, they have to be provided a basking area in their cages where the temperature should be from 90 to 95°F. For the same reason, the ambient temperature around the iguana cage should not go below 80°F. Adequate lighting should also be provided to the lizard pet including the provision for special fluorescent UV bulbs to complement the basking area.

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