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Iguana is a species of herbivorous lizards and they are an inhabitant of tropical places of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The two species in the genus iguana are the green iguana, it is a famous pet and the other species is a lesser Antillean iguana, they are endangered species due to destruction of their habitat, hunting and their hybridization with green iguanas.
Iguanas can have a height of 5 to 6 ft with the tail included in the height. Iguanas have scales originating from the mid of their neck and ending to the tail. Different kinds of scales can be found in the different places of their body parts.
Iguanas as Pet
Iguanas are residents of the forests of central and south America and the Caribbean. Iguana is a giant docile species of lizard. People choose iguanas as their pets and they are very famous pets nowadays. Iguanas also have very good sight and they can easily detect slight movement from a distance. Iguanas can use this power to detect its prey and they get aware of any predator is approaching them.
It is observed that iguanas frequently use visual signals to converse with other iguanas. They converse through their eye movements and other iguanas can understand the signals due to good sight of the iguana.
Green iguanas are mostly found in the forest and they live on the canopy tree of the South American rainforest. Young iguanas can get the grips with the tree by staying in the lower region of the canopy tree while the mature iguanas can be found on the higher region of the canopy tree. As iguanas live on the tree, it provides them sunlight and they donât have to go down to take the sunlight. Female iguanas dig burrows in the ground to lay eggs.
Even though iguanas choose forest place and environment but they can adjust well in open spaces. Wherever iguanas choose of inhabiting, they just need water around them and they are good swimmers and they can easily dive under the water to protect themselves from predators.
Even though iguanas are classified as omnivores but most of them in the forest tend to enjoy the herbivorous diet. The ripened fruit is one of their favourite foods and long with the food they prefer leafy green plants. Adults weigh around 4 kg and if they have a healthy and good diet then they can weigh up to 9 kg
Because of the green colour and brown colour of the scales present on the iguana, they can easily predict the movements of predators. They also blend easily with the surrounding forest and they will remain still until and unless they feel safe from the predators.
Common Health and Behaviour Problems
Just like most pets, iguanas carry salmonella. Salmonella can be found in the digestive tract and it does not cause any disease to iguanas. But if humans touch it then they can have the disease.
So it is advised to follow hygiene measures while handling iguanas as pets. It is recommended to wash your hands before and playing with your pet iguana and does not touch your face. This helps in spreading the disease. Extra preventive measures should be taken if young kids, senior citizens or pregnant woman is present in your home. Then in this case iguana is not the right pet for you and your family.
Frequent health problem for an iguana is a kidney disease which is because of dehydration. If your pet iguana is lethargic or you notice swelling on the body or is drinking or urinating very frequently then it is time for you to get it to a vet as soon as possible. Also, iguanas frequently face metabolic bone problems which are due to deficiency of calcium and vitamin d. So this is the reason why calcium supplements and the sunlight is important for iguanas. Moreover, iguanas face respiratory problems if they are living in a cold habitat.
Most iguanas become tame with good handling. They prefer a proper routine and it makes iguanas feel more secure. Moreover, they have a powerful self-defence instinct and it case of any danger they will bite or scratch.
Choosing Your Iguana
You can purchase iguanas from the pet shops, breeders or rescue groups. If your pet store owner sells you a small iguana and says that it will not grow in height. They may fool you. But this is not the case. They grow very quickly. Before purchasing iguana search about them and then go ahead. If you are looking for iguana as a pet then choose that iguana that has clear eyes, healthy skin.
Diet of Iguana
Giving fresh food to iguanas is very important. Iguanas are very strict herbivores. They do not eat animal protein including insects. Moreover, a high protein diet can cause health problems in them such as kidney failure.
Also, iguanas require freshwater accessible every time. Follow the proper directions on the amount of food to feed them to maintain a healthy weight of your pet.
It is also significant that iguanas swallow the food without chewing it, so everything you feed them must be chopped into small pieces. Remove the food that iguana has not eaten in the 24 hours.
Activities of Iguanas
Pet iguanas will never be trained creatures, and a considerable lot of them will attempt to get away from their fenced areas and even your home. Hostage iguanas should be gotten and held routinely for discipline purposes, so they can figure out how to confide in you and be comfortable in their condition. Be that as it may, this can be a test since they regularly discover human contact unnatural and might oppose it. So it’s essential to deal with your iguana with care and tolerance.
Child iguanas can move rapidly, however grown-up iguanas regularly become very sluggish and tame, at any rate when they don’t feel undermined. When out of their enclosure, a few iguanas may like to jump on their owners. They do have sharp paws, so wear defensive garments if your pet iguana prefers this action. Moreover, an iguana can cause genuine mischief with its tail. A grown-up iguana’s tail can break a human bone. While this is moderately uncommon, iguanas are still amazing animals
Written by: Webard