Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

Green Iguanas are excellent swimmers, using their long muscular tails to propel them through the water.
They also have very rough scales on their tails, and a strong whack can send enemies running. If a predator does get close enough to pounce, the iguana’s tail will break off and keep wiggling, holding the predators interest while the iguana makes a quick get-away. The tail will regenerate in a few weeks. Predators include hawks, lizards, ocelot, jaguar, crocodiles and boa constrictors. Iguanas are silent, using head bobbing and their dewlap to communicate. The Zoo currently has one iguana on exhibit in the Tropical Rainforest building.


Large greenish lizard with long spikes along its back, large cheek pads and a dewlap large flap of skin under their chins, for communication. Can reach 6 feet long and up to 18 lbs.


Found in tropical and semitropical rainforests, often near water. Arboreal.


Central Mexico to central South America and Caribbean Islands.


Leaves, flowers, fruits, insects, mice, and carrion.

Life Span: 

10 - 20 years.

Family Life: 

25-60 eggs incubate for 70 -90 days; may hatch all at once or over eight days.


This species is common in most of its range, but several other species of iguana are critically endangered.