Iguanas are lizards.
Some iguanas live in deserts and some live in rain forests.
One kind of iguana swims in the sea.
Iguanas eat flowers, fruit and leaves.
Female iguanas lay eggs.


What are iguanas?

Iguanas are large reptiles. They are part of the lizard family. There are many different species (kinds) of iguana, such as Green Iguanas, Fijian Banded Iguanas and Fijian Crested Iguanas.

Some species live in dry habitats such as deserts while other live in tropical rain forests where it's warm and wet. One species lives on land and feeds in the sea near the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. They are marine iguanas, the only lizard species that swims in the sea.

Iguanas are herbivores, meaning they eat only plants. They eat fruit, leaves, berries and other parts of plants. Marine iguanas eat seaweed and sea algae.

The Green Iguana
The green or common iguana lives in Mexico and in South American countries such as Brazil. It grows to be about 1.8 metres long.

Green iguanas live in trees. They are herbivores, feeding on plants. They are active during the day and sleep at night. In trees they lie still to protect themselves from enemies using their colour to camouflage themselves. If they are attacked on land they use their tails as a weapon.

Green iguanas are a threatened species in some places (such as Belize) because their eggs and the animals themselves are eaten by people. They are also captured and kept as pets.

The Fijian Crested Iguana
Fijian Crested Iguanas are critically endangered, found only on a few islands in Fiji and the tiny island of Yaduataba. They spend most of the time in trees, feeding on leaves, shoots, fruit and flowers. Sometimes they eat small insects. Mating season is March and April, and the female lays small white eggs, usually four. The eggs of the Fijian Crested Iguana have the longest incubation time of any iguana, generally 9 months.

Iguana Life cycle
All species of iguanas lay eggs.
After mating with a male iguana, a female digs a nest and lays up to 70 eggs in it. She buries the eggs. The young hatch after about 10 - 14 weeks and dig their way to the surface. Baby iguanas grow slowly. They become adults and able to mate when they are 2 years old. Some iguanas can live for 30 years.

Read about Green iguanas here

Read about Fijian Crested Iguanas here

kidcyber recommends the San Diego zoo site for more information about and pictures of iguanas

Remember: Always acknowledge where you find information
If you use any of the information on this page acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Iguanas (2003). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au

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updated December 2006