The Green Iguana

The Green Iguana

Author: Levin Sallamon

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If you have decided to travel to Costa Rica, you will probably have chosen this destination, not least because of the breath-taking biodiversity. Wherever you look, the wildlife on this corner of the world is unique!

A rampant animal is the Green Iguana. The iguana (iguana) is native to Central America, and it feels right at home in the dense forests and tropical climate. While at home, you can probably only marvel at these exotic lizards in a terrarium; here, the animals run across your path almost every day.

When fully grown, the iguanas grow up to 2 meters long, with the tail accounting for two-thirds of the total length. The males are significantly larger and have longer "spines" on the back and tail. 

The animals are at home in Costa Rica and throughout Central and South America. They prefer lush vegetation with a lot of warmth and humidity. They are diurnal and very loyal to their habitat. They are excellent climbers and are often found in treetops. And beware: if an iguana falls from there, you can often hear a loud bang! This is because their lungs fill with air when they fall.

However, do not feel irritated by the name "green iguana" because a high color variation characterizes the iguana iguana. Some animals have a greyish hue; others have shades of brown. In addition, some males can also have a reddish coloration in the limb areas.

The Green Iguana

When green iguanas feel threatened, they lash out with their tails in a whip-like manner. At the same time, male iguanas use the puffing up of their throat dewlap and head nodding as threatening behaviors to impress females. The dry season in December and January is mating season. When mating, the female lays about 30-45 eggs in a burrow, she digs herself. After about eight weeks, the young hatch.

Even though you may be a little apprehensive at first contact, you can be unconcerned: iguanas are more afraid of you! You will notice that the animals usually run away in a flash when they feel threatened. They often flee through the water, as they are excellent swimmers. Iguanas feed exclusively on plants and leaves, not even insects, as is sometimes assumed.

The green iguana is an integral part of Costa Rica's wildlife and one of the exotic species worth visiting for! The imposing creatures are becoming increasingly accustomed to humans, and you can often photograph them from a few meters. Conveniently, then, iguanas are everywhere to be seen here!

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Posted in wildlife.