Green iguana

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Green iguana /Iguana iguana/

Iguanas are a genus of the Lizards suborder. They are found in the tropical areas of Central and South America and the Caribbean islands.

They were first documented by Austrian researcher Joseph Nicolay Laurenti in 1768, in his book “Specimen Medicum, Exhibits Synopsin Reptilium Emendatam cum Experimentis circa Venena”. The word “iguana” comes from Spanish, where it entered from the original name of this species in the language of the Taino Indians - iguana.

Members of the genus are characterized by a massive patch of skin hanging down from their neck, a row of spines all the way down their back to their tail, and a third eye on their crown. This is the so-called parietal eye and looks more like a pale squama. They have excellent vision. They are able to distinguish shapes, shadows, colors and movement at great distances. Iguanas use their sight both for orientation and hunting, and for communication with other individuals of their species. They live in trees and eat plant food. They usually reach a length of 1.5 m, including the tail, and a mass of 9 kg, as specimens over 2 m long are also known.

The genus includes 2 species: Iguana iguana - Green iguana and Iguana delicatissima - Lesser Antilles iguana. There are other species of lizards, also called iguanas that are not members of the Iguani genus, but of other genera of the Iguanidae family, such as the marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) and the Galapagos terrestrial iguana from the Galapagos Islands.

The female green iguana lays 10 - 70 eggs in a hole more than a meter deep in the ground, dug by her. In this way, with the warmth of the sun rays, the eggs hatch in about 3 months. The newly hatched young iguanas are between 15 and 17 cm in size and have an intense green color. Green iguanas reach sexual maturity at the age of 16 months, but only after 36 months they are considered adults. At the age of 36 months, the green iguana can be about 70 cm long.