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An orange Iguana on land
Iguana iguana
Iguana iguana (Green Iguana)

The Iguana is a large, arboreal lizard native to a broad range from southern Brazil and Paraguay to Mexico, including the Caribbean. It's known for its calm disposition, herbivorous diet, and remarkable ability to adapt to various environments, reflected in its diverse coloration across its range. Iguanas can grow to lengths of 5.6 feet and weigh over 20 pounds. They are diurnal and adept climbers, often found near water, capable of withstanding falls from significant heights by using their hind leg claws to break their fall. Iguanas have established invasive populations in Puerto Rico, South Florida, Hawaii, and other U.S. regions, arriving in places like Anguilla after hurricanes. Despite their adaptability, iguanas face threats in their native habitats due to hunting for food, leading to conservation measures in countries like Nicaragua and Panama. Known for burrowing, they are versatile in both arboreal and terrestrial habitats, showcasing an array of survival strategies. These reptiles exhibit a unique row of spines for defense, use their tails as whips, possess a dewlap for thermoregulation and display, and have excellent vision, including the ability to see ultraviolet light, which aids in basking for vitamin D synthesis​​.

An orange Iguana on a tree branch

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