Young iguanas eat insects, fruit, leaves and flowers, while adults are almost exclusively herbivorous.
Their long legs are an adaptation for climbing trees; this is also true of their long claws which they use to grip with. The large dewlap under the neck is used by the males to impress females and scare off other males. Males are very territorial.
The green iguana is a skilful swimmer. If threatened, iguanas can jump from high in a tree into the water, where they can remain underwater for several minutes until danger passes.
They can change colour slightly. When sunning themselves in the morning, for instance, they can turn darker to absorb heat faster. At midday, they take on a lighter colour to reflect the hot rays of the sun.
Green iguanas are popular pets. If you are considering keeping an iguana as a pet, remember that they live for up to 20 years and grow to a length of 2 metres.
The green iguana is not endangered. In certain areas the population is threatened by hunting, however. The iguanas are hunted as food or captured and sold as pets.
Habitat: Tropical wetlands near forests, big trees and bushes, often near rivers and streams.
Weight: 3–5 kg
Length: Up to 2 metres
Food: Primarily plants
Sexual maturity: 2–3 years.
Number of eggs: 20–40
Hatching: Approx. 90 days
Life expectancy: 15–20 years