Before you take care of any animal at home, you need to have at least a baseline knowledge of the species.
You don’t need to run to a vet to discover the specifics of a species; this type of information is already widely available. In what do iguanas eat, I’m going to share with you some basic scientific information regarding iguanas, so you know exactly what it is that you are bringing home.
Now, the first thing that you have to know about iguanas is that these critters are reptilian, which really means two things: one, they reproduce by laying eggs and, two, their activity level and metabolism go down when it’s cold.
So, if you are not prepared to create a suitable habitat at home (that is temperature regulated), iguanas might not be the perfect pet for you, as these animals have very specific requirements in order for them to thrive as pets in your home.
Common Colors and Species of Iguana
The most common species of iguana sold in pet shops is the green iguana (scientifically known as Iguana iguana). Iguanas generally prefer warmer territories and are naturally arboreal (which means they like climbing trees all day long).
Unlike other reptiles, the iguana is exclusively herbivorous, so you have to be careful when buying pellets or any other commercially prepared food items for “herps” or reptiles.
Herbivorous reptiles must be fed with suitable food. Failing to do so will eventually affect your pet’s health, and it may well be its ticket to an early death if you are not careful.
As the iguana’s primary caretaker, you are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the lizard’s habitat and daily meals are ideal, or close to ideal, so your lizard won’t have to say goodbye prematurely.
Although the most popular species is the green iguana, that doesn’t mean that you are limited to literally green specimens. Green iguanas come in a myriad of colors, from green and blue, to green and brown.
Characteristics of Iguanas
Of course, there are iguanas that are bright green in color; these are the ones that we often seen in pet shops. Regardless of the color (or species), all iguanas have the following characteristics:
- They have a distinctive row of spines emanating from the head and continuing all the way down to the lizard’s tail.
- The presence of a parietal eye located at the center of the lizard’s head.
- The presence of large scales on the neck of the lizard (these are called tuberculate scales).
Iguanas can be extremely agile reptiles if they feel the need to flee from a danger, and it’s actually hard to find these critters out in the wild because the color pattern (and texture) of their scales blend perfectly with plants, grass, and tree bark.
So, even if an iguana is a striking and distinct creature, it’s difficult to find a wild specimen in a forest because it has a natural camouflage that protects it from potential predators.