Iguanas -- What Are They? Iguanas are considered as a relative of lizards. They are among the exotic animals that are kept as pets by some people in the present-day society. In fact, there are many pet shops now that sell iguanas at a fairly low price. The iguanas that are usually sold in these pet shops are those that are quite young. People see these iguanas as very cute that they become interested in keeping them as pets. But the fact is they are still reptiles that has the tendency to grow bigger and bigger and can become very aggressive. Iguanas can be a good pet but you should not forget that like other pets they need proper feeding and care. To understand the proper way to care for iguanas, it is important that you have knowledge of the basic nature of iguanas, their feeding habits, their habitat, and other issues relevant to their existence. What is an iguana? Are they similar to lizards? What are their characteristics? Are they harmful? Iguanas belong to the family of lizards. Specifically they are a member of the family Iguanidae. They are deemed to be invasive species that are mostly found along the shores of Gasparilla Island and the coastline of the gulf of Florida. They are commonly seen in the beach and attics of houses. But generally speaking, iguanas thrive best in the wilds especially in deserts and rain forests. There are various species of iguana. They normally vary depending on the environment in which they live. Some iguanas dwell in dry lands while others grow best in rain forests. Some are even found in the sea. These iguanas are called marine iguanas. There are also iguanas that are called as green iguanas. They are very common in Mexico and the South American countries particularly in Brazil. By and large, iguanas are classified into four major kinds namely: marine iguana, green iguana, blue iguana and lesser Antillean iguana. In terms of the food they eat, iguanas are known as herbivores. They feed on leaves, fruits, and other parts of plants. Iguanas have different features and behavior. In essence, a male iguana looks and acts in a different way compared to a female iguana. In terms of territorial behavior, a male iguana will fight tooth and nail with other male iguanas even if their life is at risk. They do this to win supremacy over the territory. A male iguana will find other males and wage in war. Just like humans, the male iguanas have ego, they want to be the only powerful male iguana in a certain territory. They seek out for other males to declare war and mate with females. Hence, there are other things that you have to know about iguanas. These include the fact that iguanas are arboreal. They dwell in trees and it's just natural for them to climb on some stuff as well. They lay eggs and they can stay alive for 30 years. All in all, if you want to keep an iguana as a pet, you have to take into consideration the do's and don'ts of caring for them. The cage of your pet iguana should be cleaned well regularly. And also the cage must be very big. In addition, you have to take into account that your pet iguana should have the appropriate kind of lighting, supply of heat and water. They should be fed on a daily basis. It is important to feed them properly so as to keep them on good physical shape. And most importantly, the iguana should be taken to the vet for a checkup at least once a year. When you have understood all these things, then you're ready to house an iguana. Information about Iguanas that can stop you from getting one Having some basic information on iguana will make your decision whether to take one or not. Take note that having them as a pet is not because it is what your friends have. You should not only make the wrong assumption of thinking that it is the easiest pet to take care of and to have around. Below are some informations that will help you decide why you should NOT have iguanas in your home. 1. Iguanas are not cheap. The minimal amount that you pay for an iguana is only the beginning. What follows next are the series of equipments and accessories that is needed in caring for your iguana. There is the special cage with special lighting installed to keep its body heat. You will also need some shelves for them to climb on and a timer to monitor changes in temperature. Feeding them is also a consideration. You need to buy green and leafy vegetables that are rich in calcium and vitamins to keep them healthy. If you do not have the budget set aside for these things, then you should consider against having one as a pet. 2. Iguanas are not low maintenance pets. They may look small enough not to cause you trouble or problems. That is just their appearance. As miniscule as they seem, they also need to be handled with care and given proper treatment just like any other pet. Their places needed to be washed and cleaned. You also need to tame them yourself so that your iguana will grow up disciplined and manageable. These things should be done on a daily basis so that the iguana will be trained early on. In addition, you may find it difficult to tame them once they are bigger and restless already. 3. Iguanas are not "huggable". You cannot hold your iguana in your lap and cuddle with them like you do your cats, dogs or rabbits. Although you can put them in your shoulder or hold in your arms, you should adhere to some restrictions that will prove vital to your health and well being. This is especially if you do not have a tamed iguana. Chances are, they will bite or scratch you at the first sign of contact. 4. Iguanas are not sociable. Notice that no matter how much you try, you will not be able to build rapport between your iguana and other pets in the house. This is because iguanas consider other animals are enemies. For them, these animals are predators waiting to eat them up. Since iguanas are not as big as any other kinds of pets, there is a big possibility that they might be stepped on or squashed when other pets start playing around in your home. That is why you find these iguanas all by themselves in a quiet and dark corner. 5. Iguanas are not the kind of pet for small children. Do not agree with your child if ever they decide to have an iguana for a pet. This is because these reptiles are not suitable for minors who do not know about proper handling and caring. Stick to dogs or cats if ever your child is not big enough to understand what iguanas are like as pets. So, what information about iguana is stopping you? Interesting Facts about Iguanas Here are some things you might want to know about iguanas: 1) They are better suited to eating plants -- some sources still continue to say that iguanas are omnivores. To say that iguanas will benefit from eating both plant and animal products would be mistake. This is because the metabolism of the iguana is better suited to absorbing plant proteins. The proteins found in animal products are just too complex to be properly utilized by iguanas. This means that not all proteins can be absorbed by their bodies as nutrients. So what happens to the unabsorbed proteins? Well, it is usually stored as uric acid. This uric acid can have very harmful effects on your iguana. A build up of uric acid can cause gout. Getting rid of animal protein can also be very hard work for an iguana's kidneys. This means that feeding animal products to your iguana may cause it to have kidney problems. This shortens the iguana's life. 2) Iguanas can be trained -- many people think that iguanas are stupid animals. However, people who own iguanas can actually attest to the opposite. A pet iguana can be trained to do many different things. Some people have toilet-trained their iguanas. Other people have trained their iguanas to do different types of tricks. Some iguanas can even find their way home! These feats attest to the fact that iguanas are far from stupid. Sometimes, people just tend to judge other creatures as being lower than them. 3) They can grow up to six feet long -- most people think that iguanas will always fit their cages. However, when an iguana is properly taken care of, it will grow up to six feet long! This means that you will have to prepare a habitat that can accommodate an iguana's growth. Some people may not be able to immediately provide a large enclosure for a six foot iguana. However, you should realize that an iguana will grow to that size and so you must always plan ahead. 4) Iguanas are arboreal -- Wild iguanas spend most of their time on trees. What are the implications of this? Well, an iguana owner has to simulate an iguana's habitat. This means that you need to put some climbing materials on your iguana's enclosure. Of course, you don't have to put real trees inside the enclosure. However, you should consider placing a post or something that your iguana can climb on. 5) Iguanas need sunlight -- some people think that artificial lights are good substitutes for sunlight in an iguana enclosure. However, what you need to know is that iguanas need sunlight not just for the visible light. An iguana utilizes UVA and UVB light in absorbing nutrients properly. This is because the UVB light triggers a chemical reaction in an iguana's skin which helps it make the vitamin D3. This vitamin is used to properly process calcium in the bloodstream. These are just some of the little quirks that you may want to know about iguanas. As you can see, taking care of an iguana is not an easy task. In order to take proper care of an iguana, people should learn as much about them as possible. By taking these little details into consideration while caring for an iguana, you would assure the continued health of the iguana. Man's New Best Friend: iguanas Dogs are man's best friend. That's what we usually hear. But would you believe if I tell you that iguanas can be your best friend, too? Sure, we've heard a lot of stories about people treating dogs, cats, birds, and fishes as best friends. But how many would want large reptiles like snakes and lizards as best friends? If you're an ordinary pet owner, you might take a rain check on taking care of an iguana. But you'll never know the joy being felt by those who dared to live up to the challenge. Let's take a look at some of the reasons to have an iguana as a pet: 1. Iguanas are vegetarians. If you're a pet owner, chances are, you have to go to a pet shop and buy food. It's bearable if you have to buy only the simple dog food or cat meal, but what if you have to buy mice? Or worms, cockroaches, crickets, and the like? Most of the time you have to hold these tiny creatures and feed them to your pet -- may they be affectionate or seemingly uncaring. You don't have to go to a pet shop to feed your iguana. You can simply pick greens from your garden or buy fresh vegetables from the grocery. Isn't that simple? 2. Iguanas usually hit it off with their owners. Unlike some lizards and snakes, iguanas are known to interact with their loving caretakers. Some would sleep beside their masters -- evidence that iguanas can be very close to human beings. Some are calm when held by their owners, but would twist and bite when held by a stranger. Nevertheless, some are so tame that anyone can hold them. Some iguanas would even allow their owners to dress them up in silly outfits. 3. Iguanas live long. We all would like to have a pet that would live very long since you're going to invest emotion, not to mention money for food, medicine, and veterinary services. While rats, hamsters, or bearded dragons may live only a few years, iguanas, like cats and dogs, may live up to 20 years. Actually, the oldest iguana on record lived up to 29 years! 4. No hair or fur will stick to your clothes or worse, get into your nose! If you're asthmatic, you very well know the difficulty of being around animals that would make you sick. Iguanas, however, being reptiles, have none of the fur and hair that would send you to the hospital. 5. Iguanas are very educational. Children will learn a lot when they care for iguanas. They have to know about temperature, rainforests, animal husbandry, importance of proper care of lizards, etc. It maybe good to take note too that these lizards are distant relatives of dinosaurs and taking care of them will provide children with a venue for study of the prehistoric creatures. Iguanas are good subjects for Show-and-Tell, research work, and the like as well. As you can see, there are lots of reasons to become an iguana owner. Why not live up to the challenge? Go to your nearest pet shop and get an iguana for you and your family now! Proper Iguana Care Tips One of the most exotic animals that are kept as pet nowadays is the iguana. Many pet shops do offer some iguanas at reasonable rates. Iguanas are now considered as among the extraordinary favorite pets of people of all ages. They see iguanas as cute strange pets, something weird and wonderful and out of the ordinary. Just like any pet, iguanas need proper care and attention. Now people would think that it's just easy to care for a pet iguana, but it's not. There are some important things you have to consider when housing an iguana. In fact there are several iguana caring tips that you can find in the internet. These tips usually come with iguanas lizards photos to make the discussion more interesting and clear to the readers. Some of the basic iguana care tips are discussed below: Cage A cage is needed to house the iguana unless you want them to roam freely in your house. The cage must be large enough to house your pet. The size will also vary based on the exact size of the iguana pet but the ideal size is up to 6 feet long. It is also important that there's a sufficient supply of water in the cage, some stuff for the animal to climb on and a hiding place. The cage should be twice the size of the iguana since they are considered to be arboreal, meaning they love to climb. Food Iguanas are herbivores. They eat different kinds of green leafy vegetable and fruits as well. Basically, their diet should be composed of tofu at least twice a week, lettuce, broccoli, berries like blackberries and raspberries, and oranges. Fresh food and water is the foremost thing that you have to take into account in taking good care of an iguana lizard. The water and food that should be served to the iguana should be fresh at all times. Unclean water as well as spoiled food can cause some health problems to the iguana that's why it's so important to choose the right food for your pet. It's best to feed your pet lizard early in the morning. This is in view of the fact that food in the morning enables proper digestion. Temperature The cage of your pet iguana should have proper heating. It is of high importance that the iguana should be heated by a light or heat pad. Hot rocks are not necessary for they can lead to the killing or burning of your pet iguana lizard. The ideal heating for the cage is approximately between 80 degrees Fahrenheit to 92 degrees Fahrenheit. If the iguana is not heated properly, it may lead to the iguana's food indigestion. Lighting Proper lighting is also of the essence in caring for an iguana. Iguanas when deprived with UV lighting usually become ill with a disease known as MBD or Metabolic Bone Disease. It's important that your pet lizard is allowed to laze around under the sun. The cage should have special fluorescent that are usually purchased in pet shops that sell some pet supplies. Sanitation The cleanliness of your friend iguana is also of the essence. Your iguana and its cage should be cleaned regularly. Proper hygiene of your pet should be practiced so as to prevent it from getting sick. Iguanas are identified to be carrying bacteria known as Salmonella. To keep your pet iguana safe from the threats of these bacteria, it's best to keep them clean all the time. Are You Ready for an Iguana Pet? People think that iguanas make cool pets; they may be right. Some may have the misconception that iguanas are low-maintenance pets; they would be wrong. As with all pets, iguanas have their requirements. However, the main issue in taking care of a pet iguana is not just your ability to provide the iguana's needs. It also involves your qualifications. So what does it take to have a pet iguana? 1) Love -- of course, you need to love your iguana in order to take proper care of it. When you love your pet iguana, it naturally follows that you will do everything to take good care of it. This is the basic requirement for an iguana pet owner. This is because love lays down the foundation for all the other things that you need to do or have in order to take proper care of your iguana. 2) Patience -- iguanas need a very long time to be tamed. You cannot expect an iguana to begin behaving properly immediately. You need to be patient in order to spend the amount of time required to properly train an iguana. You must persevere in order to truly take care of your pet iguana. Remember that patience is not just about riding out your pet iguana's bad habits; it is about making the effort to train it properly. 3) Commitment -- we are not talking about a marriage. However, you need to be committed to taking care of your pet iguana. Some people just buy an iguana on impulse. During the first days, they might take proper care of the iguana. However, as time goes by, they soon lag in their responsibilities and the iguana is neglected. This, of course, leads to some serious consequences. Before buying a pet iguana, you should realize that iguanas can live up to 20 years. Are you prepared to make a commitment for that length of time? If you think that you can just sell an iguana when you're bored with it, you would be wrong. You see, a sudden change of owners can affect the iguana very deeply. It would adversely affect the iguana's health. 4) Finances -- taking care of an iguana can be very expensive. You need to provide food, a spacious habitat, and other supplies that are necessary to a pet iguana's well-being. You will also have to spend cash for regular trips to the veterinarian. Can you do that? Remember that buying the pet iguana is only the first step. You need to spend money to take care of it too. 5) Willingness to learn -- some people jump at the prospect of buying a pet iguana without first thinking about the things they need to do in order to take proper care of an iguana. If you are planning to own a pet iguana, you should have the willingness to learn how to properly take care of them. This means that you have to make the effort to read up on iguanas and how to take proper care of them. 6) Time -- you need to have available time in order to take proper care of a pet iguana. This does not mean that you need to have time to feed it and clean it. You need to spend some time to play with your pet iguana. This will definitely help the health and well-being of your pet iguana. Pet Iguanas: What can You Expect from Them? Nearly thousands of people are currently keeping pet iguanas in their homes. But then certainly, there are a few valuable information to note of when intending to keep pet iguanas. The pet stores give pertinent information to the buyers of these reptiles especially when it comes to their behavior, caging, lifestyle, and diet. The internet also hosts the most worthy information about taking care of pet iguanas. So if you are a budding owner of pet iguanas, this article is just for you. Iguanas are the most popular lizards that are taken home to be pets. They rank to be among today's pet "fads". They are even sold in the most affordable prices in several pet stores. They are not that difficult to take care of but of course they are to be highly maintained. Things such as veterinary medications, feeding techniques, caging tips, and many others are among the most particular things to consider when getting pet iguanas. Yes, the pet iguanas must be properly caged and well-fed so as not to risk their long life span. They become very huge that owners may think they will be hard to tame, feed, and control. At times, the bigger and matured iguanas can become really aggressive. They may also attempt several times to escape. So what should you expect from a pet iguana? Obviously, what you need to give your pet iguana is sufficient tender loving care. Aside from that, you should also maintain right sanitation within its cage. You must be careful to handle your iguanas especially when there are children, pregnant women, elderly people, and not yet immunized individuals that try to be in contact with your pet iguanas. Which iguana will be right for you to take care of? The "Iguana iguana" or the rainforest green iguana ranks to be the most-sought after pet iguana by many people. These plant-eating lizards find solace in the shrubby places. If you intend to have them as pets, you must create a homey environment for them. It will be utterly significant to provide branches that will allow them to bask under the heat of the sun that will be allowed to enter into their housing. More so, alternative heat sources can be utilized. You just have to be careful not to let your pet iguanas reach the bulbs and other heater devices or else they will get burned. It is also important that you know of its digestive makeup. The iguanas are known to be Hind-Gut fermenters which mean that their lower intestinal tracts play a major role for their survival. Such digestive tract is held to be responsible for the production of the fatty acids, water reabsorption, vitamins, and many others. Malnutrition and uncleanness often result to sickness and death of the pet iguanas. Overall, you must learn how to cater to the food and habitat needs of your supposed to be pet iguana. Like any other living being, the pet iguanas have their own taste preferences. They may or may not like certain foods that you will give. It is better to study the overall profile of your pet iguana so that it can live its life to the fullest. Having pet iguanas will give you some time to understand how animals of these species react and behave. Their existence actually lies on your own hands. Facts about Iguanas: Things You Need To Know How you ever wondered what make up the body of an iguana? Now if you are interested in taking care of one iguana, you better take heed and take into account these vital facts about iguanas. The term iguana is usually used to refer to all types of the members of the lizard family branded as the Iguanidae. As a general knowledge, the iguanas possess powerful but short limbs added up with their sharp claws. These claws are utilized for digging and climbing. Yes, they do love to climb that is why a set of branches for climbing must be set up in their tanks. The strong tails are used for their defense mechanism. They whip it in the air especially when a predator corners them. Their tails are likewise used for swimming. The dewlap is a huge flap of skin that is contained on the sides of the body particularly in the areas of the throat of a male iguana is used to either intimidate a predator around or to impress another female iguana. The dewlap also functions in the regulation of their body temperature. Furthermore, the iguanas also contain some crest of very soft spines that lineup the middle part of their backs and necks. Relatively, the male iguanas have longer spines in contrast with the female iguanas. By means of size, the male iguanas appear to be bigger. They have bigger heads and brighter body colors compared with the females. The body of the male iguana is much distinct during the time of the breeding season. Physically, both the male and the female iguanas contain twelve up to thirteen pores underneath the sides of their thighs. The pores are the ones which secrete the waxy substance which they use in marking their territories and identifying each of them. When the male iguanas mature, their own femoral pores come to develop some outward projections which they tend to use in the copulation strategy to take a grasp of the female iguana. The skin of the iguana is filled with very minute scales. They are unable to change their skin colors just like the deed of the chameleons but when they get exposed to light, some parts of their skin become darker in color. The young iguanas appear to be colored in pale green alongside with black ringed tails. As they grow mature, their colors turn out to be more earthly colored which are usually darker especially in their bodies and tails. Back in their natural habitats, the iguanas appear to be wary since they always feel that danger is beside them. They could always be spotted running and hiding. They make full use of their accurate vision, keen sense of hearing and smell so that they could better ensure their own survival. They may appear to be clumsy at times but then the iguanas are great swimmers and tree climbers. They usually bask in the morning atop the trees and they can jump into the water anytime they sense danger. Mating fro the iguanas occur in the months of January to February. The female iguana tend to get pregnant for two months and then by the time laying the eggs come, the female iguana digs in the soil or sand to deposit the eggs which range from 25 to 40 eggs. After two weeks, the hatchlings are ready to come out into the world. The iguanas could be great pets provided that you know how to take care of them. They are inherently high maintenance. But then everything will pay off if you just learn how to care for your pet properly. Types of Iguanas: Getting to know them Iguanas basically belong to the lizard family called Iguanidae. Their most common characteristics include elongated tails, eyelids and four rambling legs. Like most reptiles all types of iguanas are cold blooded and can reach a life span of up to 20 years. Iguanas are naturally found in Mexico and The Central and Southern part of the Americas and some are found in the Lesser Antilles Islands, Hawaii, Florida and California. Most type of iguanas are arboreal which can be found on living on trees but some also inhabits the desserts, rocky terrains and even near sea side caves which are called the marine iguanas. There are basically eight types of iguanas within the Iguanidae family. The Genus Cyrclura, Genus Amblyrhyncus, Genus Conolophus, Genus Ctenosauria, Genus Dipsosaurus, Genus Sauromalus, Genus Brachylophus. The Genus Cyrclura is also commonly known as the rock iguana which can be in most parts of the Caribbean Islands, these types of iguana are under the protection of endangered species so they are scarcely sold or traded but if ever you find one on a shop they are mostly captive bred. These types of iguanas, the Genus Amblyrhyncus are known as the marine iguanas or the Galapagos Marine Iguana. These types of iguana is the most hard to be reserved in confinement for the reason that they feed on a diet which is basically close to impossible to produce commercially which is the Marine Algae. Genus Conolophus, these are the closest relatives of the marine iguana. This type of iguana is also called the Galapagos Land Iguana they basically feed on plants and cactus. Genus Ctenosauria this are mainly called the spiny tailed iguanas and are native to Mexico and Central America. They are small compared to other iguanas because they can only grow from 5 inches up to 35 inches. The most outstanding feature of this creature is the large scales on its tail. They are grouped as omnivores which basically feed on fruits and flowers as well as small insects. Genus Dipsosaurus consists of the dessert iguanas of the Southern America and Mexico. This kind of iguanas is full-bodied with an apex of elevated and expanded scales on its back. They have cream to white colored bellies and are spotted with white dots and stripe colored tails. They can grow up to 15 inches long with a tail that is as twice as long as its body. Genus Sauromalus is also known as the Chuckwalla which is a robust herbaceous iguana commonly found in United States and Mexico. These types of iguanas are strict vegetarians they confine themselves with eating only fruits, leaves and flowers. Chuckwallas have skins that hang loosely on its fat body; they love heat and do not basically moves in the morning until the heat reaches a hundred degrees. To shove of the extra heat they either change color to reflect the suns heat or hide in the shade. Chuckwallas is also good for captivity as a pet cause they do not move that much. Lastly the Genus Brachylophus or known as the Fijian banded Iguana which is found in the island of Fiji and Tonga. Iguanas nowadays are coined as endangered species and illegal possession of any types of iguanas is punishable by law so be sure that if you want an iguana as a pet, have it registered first in a legal process and consult some veterinarians for some advices and guidelines in preparing to adopt an Iguana. The Basics of Iguana Care There are a lot of people who seem to adore the iguanas and they end up buying the baby iguanas out of a spur of the moment decision. But then when these baby iguanas grow larger than what they have expected at first, they cram as to whom to give them to. If the iguanas are given the utmost care, they are likely to grow really large. It is vital to know that the iguanas can grow to some really large measurement, in fact, even larger than their containers. If you do intend to keep an iguana under your care, it is relatively essential to know the basics of iguana care. The Selection of Iguana If you intend to pick an iguana to be your pet, it is important to get the iguana that looks active and alert. But make sure that your choice will also get calmed especially when you try sticking your hand into its tank. The iguana of your choice must possess bright and clear eyes, must be free from any sort of abrasion, sores, scratches, and any from of marks, and should possess good health. Ensure also that the iguana that you are to buy is not in any way covered with feces that signify its dirty environment. A disgusting environment means the presence of bacteria and the possible outbreak of a disease that can harm the health of the iguana. The Housing of the Iguana For starters, the iguana can be kept in a tank that measures about 30 to 50 gallons. During its entire growth, it will be necessary to have a custom built cage for your pet. It is important that the cage should be higher since iguanas love to jump around. The cage bottom cover is also another important consideration to dwell on. The cover can be an orchid bark, indoor or outdoor carpeting, an artificial turf, a newspaper, or an alfalfa pellets. Remember that wood chips or barks are unadvisable, as they tend to attract insects and termites. Meanwhile, those cedar chips can be toxic too. It is better that you set up some branches to allow the climbing sprees of the iguanas. Take note that they are tree-dwelling lizards. The branches must be able to hold on the size of your pet iguana. Hot rocks are likewise not recommended as a substitute for the lighting of the tank. The Heating Technique Iguanas should be maintained warm so that proper digestion of their food will be allowed. This technique will also save them from diseases. A good type of thermometer must be placed inside the tank so as to monitor the temperature of the house. There should be a basking spot that has a temperature of between 95-100 degrees F. One of the best heat sources that you can opt for is a spotlight. Other options include the undertank heaters, heat tape, or ceramic lights. Some recovering iguanas will need warmer temperatures especially at night. The Feeding Scheme It is important to be very careful with the food that you feed your iguanas. The green iguanas are plant-eaters. Any kind of animal protein should not be feed to them. They may like the pizza and junk food treats but these food will do them no good and will henceforth subject them to kidney failures. Vegetables must be given to them in minimal quantities. Spinach is a NO NO to them. The diet required for iguanas are the food that contain high content of calcium, vitamin D3, and low in phosphorous. The commercial iguana food can also be made part of their diet. Food and Shelter: The basics of proper iguana care Iguanas are very popular pets. People who take iguanas as pets do so because they may find iguanas "exotic". However, some people are put off by the fact that iguana care can be very hard work. However, if you know the basics of food and shelter for iguanas, then iguana care can actually be quite easy. Here are some things you should know about proper iguana care: 1) Food -- Iguanas are strict herbivores. Old books on iguana care still say that you need to feed small insects to an iguana. This advice is backed by the fact that some iguanas have been seen consuming small insects in the wild. However, you should know that wild iguanas usually eat insects accidentally, when some such insect lands on a piece of vegetable matter that the iguana is eating. Another reason why some wild iguanas eat insects is because of the fact that they have nothing else to feed on. Sometimes, different factors affect the vegetation on an iguana's habitat and so the iguana is forced to feed on insects. Why shouldn't you feed animal proteins to an iguana? First of all, iguanas' bodies are made for maximum use of plant foods. This means that they are not ale to properly process the high concentration of protein contained ion animal products. The part of the protein that their bodies cannot process often ends up as crystals deposited in the tissue. This could lead to gout or kidney failure. Proper iguana care requires that you try to keep your iguana on a strict vegetarian diet. Some people think that their iguana's growth will be stunted if they do not feed it any animal proteins. You should know, however, that iguanas which are fed strictly plant foods will grow bigger and live longer. 2) Shelter -- this is the second consideration to take in proper iguana care. An iguana owner should pay very close attention to the habitat because of the simple fact that an iguana is cold blooded. This means that the iguana depends highly on its environment for its survival. Here are some things to consider: a) Temperature -- the enclosure for the iguana should have varying spots of temperature. This is so that the iguana can regulate its body temperature by moving between cold and hot spots. You should provide a basking spot for your iguana that has a temperature ranging from 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. b) Size -- proper iguana care requires that you provide an enclosure which gives your iguana plenty of space to move around. Some people might think that iguanas require small habitat, but the fact is that an iguana that's properly taken care of can grow up to six feet long! This means that you have to be prepared for the future if you want your iguana to remain healthy. c) Lighting -- iguanas need a source of UVA and UVB light. Now while iguana care shops may have some artificial lighting which provides these, you should know that natural sunlight is still the best for your iguana. These are just the basics of proper iguana care. These tips should get you started on taking proper care of an iguana. However, if you wish to truly master the art of p[roper iguana care, you should definitely research more about the subject. Preparing the Iguana Nest So as to ensure that the reproduction will go on smoothly, it is advisable to place iguanas of the opposite sex together especially during the breeding season. It is right to group the iguanas according to the size and ratio. There should be one male and one or more females. The male iguanas are typically smaller than the female iguanas because if the opposite thing happens, the latter may end up killing the male during the mating. You can likewise try out some media for the iguana nest you are creating. You can try out the 100% potting soil wherein the eggs can be buried, the 50% play sand and 50 % potting soil, or the 100% play sand which is much easier for the female iguana to dig into and thus making it possible for the pit formation to settle the eggs into. Also put in your mind that the iguana nest must be safe for your pests. The environment of the iguana nest should make the reptiles safe against the possible abrasions, scratches, and other injuries. The nesting box must be durable enough to hold up to 200 pounds of the soil or sand that you will include in the iguana nest. You can add up some tray planter with the other end cut off so that there will be some sort of tunnel for the iguana to play on. If you would like to use some cheaper alternatives, the wooden boxes or plastic trash may do. Just ensure again the safety of the reptiles. It is important that you monitor the laying of the eggs of your pet. At times not all eggs are laid which may result to some problem on the female iguana's part. Do not interrupt when the female iguanas guard their nests. It is some sort of mother's instinct too. Iguana Nests: Important Bits of Information The breeding of the iguanas which are taken captive has risen to several controversies. This is said to actually limit the existing demands for iguanas which are still imported from the iguana farms of the Central and South America. Why not? The iguana pet owners will certainly provide the iguana nests and initiate the breeding of the reptiles. But then, the iguana pet owners have seen the brighter side of the matter. They are in truth making money out of the iguana nests! The adult iguanas are being bred while the iguana babies are sold. Today, the iguanas are sold in a very cheap price therefore giving the impression that the iguanas are disposable pets. There are the pros and cons too of having iguana nests and breeding the reptiles. For one, the breeding of the iguanas is such a wonderful thing to enjoy and experience. The mother iguana tries its best to be resourceful enough to find a good place to lay its eggs and wait until they get hatched. With the natural or artificial iguana nests, the mother iguanas settle their babies. As a con to the breeding of an iguana, as the reptiles increase in number, the more space the owner needs to house them. Feeding them likewise becomes a problem. The control of the iguanas tends to be hard to be maneuvered especially that they are already too many. Those who are only given proper attention and nutrition are likely to stay healthy, fit and able to survive. What is Rhinoceros Iguana The rhinoceros iguana claims the Galapagos marine iguana as its relative. It inhabits mainly the tropical dry forest of North America especially in the Caribbean Sea and the island of Hispaniola. People have spotted a relative of the rhinoceros iguana on the Navassa Island which is currently believed to be already extinct. Most individuals refer to the rhinoceros iguana by its scientific name which is the cyclura comuta. Let us look into the vital details about the rhinoceros iguana. Rhinoceros Iguana by Physical Description The rhinoceros iguana is by all means a known powerful lizard. Its body is crested with very firm row of spines at its back and it is also a stout one. Its long legs make it walk while being elevated above the ground. The rhinoceros iguana usually comes in a typical grey-brown hue. The male specie of the rhinoceros iguana can grow up to 56 cm by length and 10 kg in weight. The skin of the rhinoceros iguana is said to be rough since there are epidermal scales on it. Large scales are on its head while some of these species have horns which are perceived to be simple enlarged scales. The males are obviously bigger than the females and are credited to contain bigger horns too. Rhinoceros Iguana by Diet and Lifestyle Iguanas are mainly vegetarians. They can be typically spotted devouring leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruits. The diet of the rhinoceros iguanas varies based on the season and the ontogenetic. At times they do eat land crabs, insects, animal food, and carrion. The younger rhinoceros iguanas often take in small insects and animals. When they take a particular bush or location as a main source of their food, they are likely to defend it from other species of their own kind. Most of their time is spent eating and then basking under the heat of the sun and at nighttime they do retreat into the burrows, caves, or into some hollow trunks. The male rhinoceros iguanas are the ones that serve as the defenders of their territories and can be found atop the tall trees and large rocks as their sunbathing areas. The male rhinoceros iguanas also tend to be hostile towards the rest of the male species and they are territorial as well. A signal such as the head-bob is used by the rhinoceros iguanas in keeping in touch with one another. Rhinoceros Iguana by Reproduction The reproduction stage of the rhinoceros iguanas occur during the spring just right before the rainy season comes in which particularly comes in by the later part of May. The females start excavating their tunnels of about one meter in length to fit in the 34 eggs that they will lay. Typically, the laying of the eggs comes at the earlier part of August. After a period of six months, the eggs start to hatch. The hatchlings take after their parents but are considered to be more of tree-dwellers. Their maturity stage settles in after three years and they could live up to about 30 years. Like most of the iguanas alive, the rhinoceros iguanas regulate their body temperature by means of the solar energy. Some people opt to keep the rhinoceros iguanas for pets unlike the earlier days when more individuals love to take these creatures as food. Facts about the Rhinoceros Iguana The iguana family is one of the thirteen species of the lizard family. Usually they comprise the group of reptiles that belong to the largest species. The popular iguana species are commonly found in Mexico, southward to Brazil. Features of Iguana The common iguana is green with dark bands that form rings on tail. Similar to other reptile, iguanas are also egg-laying animal, cold-blooded with an exceptional ability to adjust to their environment. Species like iguanas vary on different colors, behaviors, sizes and their endangered condition in the wild. Different kinds of iguanas vary in their looks and acts. You might not even recognize that they belong in the same family. Some iguanas are dull while the others have a vivid and bright color. Iguanas are found in different habitats so each one has its own unique adaptation. Most of the iguanas are herbivores that eat flower buds, young leaves and fruits. Some of them also eat the rare juicy mealworm and wax worm. The Origin of the Rhinoceros Iguana The rhinoceros iguana is also one of the popular members of the iguanidae family. Its common name is rhinoceros iguana or rhino iguana. This species got its name "rhinoceros" because of its horn-like shape that is found on the head of the male iguanas. They are found mostly on terrestrial like the rocky and dry areas. They are infrequently found in trees or in forested areas. Rhino Iguana is much heavier than common green iguana but it is not as long as the latter. The species is composed of large reptiles, heavy-bodied lizard with a homogeneous gray body. The male has a three horn like protrusion on its head. The common rhino iguana has a total body length of 1.2m or 4.5ft long and weighs for about 10-20lbs or 4.5-9kg. Rhino iguanas are omnivores, they eat a wide variety of vegetables as well as small mammals, birds and invertebrates. They lie for about 15-20 eggs and develop for approximately 75-100 days. Typically, rhino iguanas develop its sexual maturity when it reaches its second to third year of its birth. The most common rhino iguana lives up to 20 years or more and most of them dwell on dry rock areas and savannas. Most of the male iguana experience complicated courtship behaviors of head bobbing and erecting the spines along the back. They normally quite timorous and will flee when approached, but during courtship rhino iguana males are aggressive. Female iguanas on the other hand have a horn-like shape but smaller than those in males. Female rhino iguanas mate with several male rhino iguanas and have the ability to hoard sperm. Rhino iguanas are tremendously territorial and use their whip and long tails to rip off predators or intruders. The rhino species has ability to re-grow its teeth that were lost after a battle. Territorial battles of male iguanas seldom come to full aggression, the subsequent face off can last for several hours. Due to its population, rhinoceros iguanas are particularly susceptible to environmental and man made disturbances. People in the islands often eat iguanas as food because of their accessibility and somewhat poor economic status in the island. Wide-scale release of iguanas in pet trades and zoos make them protected. There are also wildlife organizations that protect the species. Thus, they play an important role in the conservation of rhinoceros iguanas and other species. Red Iguana Facts Facts about the Red Iguana The Iguana family is considered the largest of the lizard families. The most common are the green iguanas. But there are also some with colorful skin, they are known as the red iguana. One of the popular red iguanas is the Red sided skink. These are multicolored terrestrial and semi-aquatic lizards that are native to the rocky steppes and open forests habitat of Southern and Eastern Africa. Today, these red iguanas are now the most common well-liked pet reptiles. They are also one of the most purchased on some pet shops. Thus, these red iguanas are now found in the garden and even inside the house. Care and Feeding Your Red Iguana Like any other pet, there are some requirements needed in order for the red iguana to grow on its new environment. 1. Proper Housing A red iguana can live in an aquarium with 30 gallons of water. Enclosures can vary in shapes, sizes and styles, and are made out of glass or wood. The base should be easy to clean. The most efficient to use is the newspaper, but linoleum and artificial grass are also excellent options as well. Keep enclosures away from soil, sand and bark, as these can lead to impaction or obstruction if your iguana ingests them. It is also important to provide them with shallow container for the food and water. These food and water dishes must be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned regularly. It is also necessary to add climbing materials such as twigs, barks, broad limbs and rocks. 2. Right Feeding Iguanas in general are herbivores and should be given a variety of vegetable and fruits. The bulk of the diet must contain green leafy vegetables such as mustard greens, escarole, kale, and spinach. But it is also important to feed them with limited amount of protein rich foods. You can also offer mixed vegetable like green peppers, squash, frozen mixed vegetables and green beans, and fruits like, bananas, mangoes, and apples. Like other pets, iguanas should be fed everyday. 3. Appropriate Amount of Water Water is the most essential needs of the iguanas, thus it should be readily available. Normally, iguanas get water through the plant they consume, others lapping water off wood or on the leaves. Exposing your iguana on your environment early in the morning will avoid them from being dehydrated. These iguanas provided with water dishes can train on their own to purge on their water. So, it is important that their dishes are regularly cleaned to prevent bacterial infections. 4. Grooming your Iguana Like all pets, your iguana must also be properly groomed. Bathing is a good routine to get your iguana used to. It is one way for your pet to obtain water and cleanse themselves. Bathing should be done using lukewarm water in a shallow container, at least 3 times a week. Always, aid your pet to avoid accidents. Keep in mind that not all iguanas have fun during bath time, some might panic. 5. Handling your Iguana Iguanas should be handled frequently to discipline or tame them. Your pet iguana can be trained to show fondness for those who handle them regularly. They should be held 2-3 times everyday for at least fifteen minutes. Gently stroke, their back and neck and get your pet reptile used to handling and picking them up. Just keep in mind that iguanas can be aggressive by nature so extreme caution is needed in handling your pet reptile. The information above are some facts about the red iguanas that you must keep in mind. Remember that the pet iguanas are also important and should be treated with proper care. More about the Red Iguanas The iguana is one of the largest species of lizard families that consists of 60 different types with over 700 species. Iguanas have whiplike tails, curly tails, swifts, and anoles. They are mostly America, specifically southern Canada and South America, and in some on the islands of Madagascar and Fiji. Iguanas range in type from the terrestrial to the tree dwelling arboreal type and semi-aquatic type. The iguana can easily adapt to their habitat because of its skills like the marine iguana of Galapagos Island that is an excellent swimmer. The green iguana on the other hand likes to be in high trees of rain forest. Others acquire adaptation to live longer in dry or hot deserts. Iguanas that are forest and desert dwellers are mainly herbivores, eating flower buds, young leaves and fruits while others are insectivore or omnivores that eats juicy mealworm or wax worm. Common iguanas are quite muscular, the legs and thighs are similar to frogs in appearance. Their toes are delicate; there is a large multi jointed toe on each rear foot that assists iguanas in climbing. They have claws that are extremely sharp. Male iguanas have larger crest on their back compared to female iguanas. Usually the mouth of iguanas is wide and with very sharp teeth. Their nostril snorts out unwanted salts and possesses external ear drums. But did you know that most iguanas have a third eye on top of the head? Their third eye actually detects movements from above. One type of iguana that has this feature is the Red Sided Skink. This type of red iguana dwells on forest habitats and rocky steppes of Southern and Eastern Africa. It reaches for about 8 inches long and like other reptiles they are also egg laying, cold-blooded animals and can easily adapt to its environment. The Red Skink Iguana eats mealworms and crickets coated with calcium and vitamin power. It is important that they are given clean water, dark leafy green and fruits. These terrestrial iguanas spend their daily routines looking for foods but just travel for a short distance. Also they are unable to travel to a more suitable habitat and easily become fragmented. The female red iguanas dig burrow in a hot sunny area where it lays their eggs inside, cover it and then leave the eggs alone. An egg incubates because of the warm temperature that stays a fairly constant of about 77 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, all eggs hatches at same time and the young iguanas dig out of the burrow all by themselves. Iguanas also go through courtship behaviors and they are usually quite timid and flee if approached. But during its courtship, iguana males are quite aggressive. Unfortunately this kind of species are becoming endangered, the once copious in the wild are now starting to disappear. The main reason is the loss of habitat like deforestation, the existence of animal prey on iguanas and some were eaten by humans like those iguanas that live in islands. There are several actions and measures that can help iguanas from extinction, such as strict implementation of hunting and collection, captive propagation in places like zoos, and also education programs for people who lives near iguana habitats. Today, Americans also take part in conserving the iguanas. They adopt them and kept as pets. Hence, these iguanas are given with proper care and good habitat. Puerto Vallarta Iguanas: Enjoy Seeing them while You're on Vacation No idea of where to go for a holiday escapade? Why don't you try Puerto Vallarta? Most people are desiring to enter the haven and paradise world of Puerto Vallarta and you could be one of those aspirants! For one, there is the Banderas Bay. The place is fit for sunbathing, snorkeling, and surfing. If you love these activities then Puerto Vallarta is the best place to stay! There is no need to worry about the facilities and accommodations because there are inclusive condos and hotels all over the place. In Puerto Vallarta, you will be communing with nature in a relaxing manner. There are colorful butterflies, bountiful tropical flora, egrets, pelicans, scissor tails, geckos, and Puerto Vallarta iguanas! When it comes to the enjoyable activities, Puerto Vallarta is also rich with them. Golf courses and bars abound the area. With all of its captivating sceneries, Puerto Vallarta has not only been once featured in Hollywood movies! In fact, it was in the year 1963 when the place was taken to center stage with the film "Night of the Iguana". You might as well want to take a glimpse of the captivating place of Puerto Vallarta during one of your vacations. A native Puerto Vallarta travel would be to take the local bus. The trip will not be boring since there are drumming, tooting flutes, "bus-kers", singing, and strumming on board that do the entertainment of the passengers. As you reach your destination, you can settle in at a homey environment as offered by the number of hotels and condos around the area. The Puerto Vallartans are very hospitable in a sense that they will take care of you up to the utmost manner. You can go bar hopping, go to galleries, listen to the music, surf, snorkel, scuba dive, enjoy the lush beauty of nature, walk by the seashore, swim, tour the caves, and see the Puerto Vallarta iguanas. Because Puerto Vallarta is a place that is close to nature, the Puerto Vallarta iguanas thrive in it. They can be seen thriving close to streams and rivers. They can usually be seen atop the trees basking under the sun, eating fruits, seeds, flowers, and leaves of the bushes, and then diving into the water especially when predators aim at them. The Puerto Vallarta iguanas are fast runners and splendid swimmers. Other habitats of the Puerto Vallarta iguanas are the cacti, burrows, and shrubs. Beforehand, the Puerto Vallarta iguanas can be spotted near the coastlines but since the time that the area has been frequented by travelers and visitors, these reptiles had been forced to retreat into the further sides of the island. They do love to bask under the sun because they need to regulate their body temperatures. For most of the visitors of Puerto Vallarta, they get inspired to keep the Puerto Vallarta iguanas for domestic pets. When these reptiles sense an oncoming attack, they usually strike its tail, bite, or scratch the enemy as a way of its defense mechanism. Aside from this, they prove to be harmless to humans. Like other animals, the existence of the Puerto Vallarta iguanas are now also at risk especially with the rate in the destruction of their natural dwellings. The clamor of the Puerto Vallarta iguanas may be taken as the restoration of their habitats so that they can enjoy their existence more. New Pet Iguana -- Tame Them Iguanas belong to the family of lizards. Like most reptiles, iguanas belong to the cold-blooded animals whose body temperature changes with the temperature of the air or water around it that is why iguanas have excellent capability to survive to the environment. Iguanas have a long, whip-like tails, eyelids, four sprawling legs, big mouth and saw-like teeth. Iguanas are of different species. They may differ in behavior, size and color which may vary from green to yellow. Some has a vivid color, some has dull color. These creatures usually have a life span of 15-20 years in captivity. Iguanas have its unique adaptation to its habitat. The Marine Iguanas are skillful swimmer, the Green iguanas can usually be found in rainforest, and others, like the desert iguanas have the ability to adapt and survive even in dry and hot desert. There are iguanas that are readily available in pet shops. These have gain the popularity of iguanas for pet. It is challenging to own iguanas especially in taming it. Unlike cats and dogs, iguanas are not domesticated animals. It takes time before they become comfortable and tame. They have still the instinct and behavior that help them survive in the wild even after years of captivity and breed. It is also very important when handling iguanas, to make sure they are comfortable. Iguanas are sometimes territorial aggressive creatures. In taming them, you need to be patient. It is best to handle them daily. In handling them, do not swoop your hand from above them, they may think you're a predator, remember these creatures are used to wild habitat. Instead, bring your hand to its eye level and approach them slowly. Don't make any fast moves. There are pictures of iguanas and how to handle them that may give you vivid picture on how to handle them. Talking and whispering while you are approaching them may also help. Handling your iguanas on daily basis and spending time with them will gradually tame them. Understanding their body language and their real meaning, like bobbing of their head, whipping their tail will help you interact with your pet better. There are highly debated topics when it comes to feeding or what to feed to your iguanas. Iguanas are basically herbivore creatures. They eat leaves, fruits and flowers. Improper feeding may result to death or sickness of your pet. Iguanas are strictly vegetarian. Although there are books that say iguanas can be fed other animal protein based foods. It is recommended for them to have a varied diet. Iguanas have saw-like teeth that they use to rip and tear their food instead of chewing it. Clean and chop the food finely before giving it to them. It is important for your iguanas to have strong and healthy bones. Providing them with a wide variety fresh food that is high in calcium and phosphorous and clean water is good for your iguanas' diet. Iguanas should be fed daily. At least two leafy green each day. The amount of food that you may give to your iguana depends on the size and the appetite of your pet. It would be best to give them enough food that will last all day and even leave food at night. You can also find tables of good food that you can feed to your iguanas. Reading up more information about iguanas, such as how to tame them, proper training, handling and proper feeding them will help you successfully kept them for years. What are Marine Iguanas? As its name suggests, the marine iguana is set apart from the rest of its relative mainly because it has a unique attribute of being capable to forage and live in the seawater. The marine iguana is in truth only to be found thriving within the Galapagos Islands that is why its existence in the island has branded the reptile the name "Galapagos marine iguana". The natural habitat of the marine iguana is on the rocky shores of the Galapagos Island but they can likewise be seen in the mangrove and marshes beaches. Some people such as Charles Darwin describe the marine iguanas as the black lizards thriving on the sea. But the truth is that the marine iguanas are not usually black in color. The younger marine iguanas take the dorsal stripe color whereas the adult ones are grayish. Their color may be really dull but there is a reason behind this. Such color allows them to easily absorb heat right after they emerge out of the water. Their food is usually the marine algae. They expel the remaining salts from their nasal glands as they go on with basking under the heat of the sun. The salt contained in their bodies makes their faces appear whiter. More so, the matured male marine iguanas have a varying color -- all of which depend on the existing season. During the breeding seasons, the adult male marine iguanas become teal-green or reddish in colors. Those thriving in Santa Cruz appear in black and red brick while those found in Fernandina come in dull green and brick red colors. Their sizes likewise differ which depends on the island that they live in. Those found in the whole of Isabela and Fernandina are the largest marine iguanas in the entire island of Galapagos. Meanwhile, the smallest marine iguanas are to be found in Genovesa. As said to be poikilothermic animals, the marine iguanas can only spend very little time out in the cold sea whenever they dive for their algae food. Thus, they commonly swim within the very shallow water of the island. After swimming, they proceed to bask under the sun to have their bodies warmed up again. During the cold days, the marine iguana cannot effectively move thus making them too vulnerable for their predators. Since they cannot move fast, what they do is to strike their tails up in the air and bite their enemies. During the entire breeding season, the male marine iguanas mate with the females and likewise guard them against the rest of the male reptiles. Moreover, the marine iguanas adjust their sizes to be able to adapt to the food condition in existence. There was a time during the onset of the El NiÒo when the algae decreased in number so the marine iguanas actually decreased in their lengths too. When the food supply started to normalize, the reptiles returned to their normal condition. The marine iguanas are not as fast as the rest of its relatives. When taken as pets, their predators become the dogs and cats. They can be easily attacked by these predators since they are too slow and much tamed. To date, the government of Ecuador has set up laws that aim to protect the existence of marine iguanas. There are artificial nestling sites which had been made in the smaller islands so that there will be lesser predators that can harm them. Iguanas Ecology What You Need to Know about Iguana Ecology Iguanas, specially the wild ones are crucial part of the ecosystem; a slight change in the population of Iguanas in the wild can harm the total balance of the ecosystem. So when setting up your own pet house you need to know things about the proper iguana ecology so that it can feel comfortable in your captivity. One thing that you will probably notice is that iguana ecology is not an easy task to replicate and the iguanas themselves are not that easy to take care of too. Iguanas like most reptiles are solely dependant on their environment for their most basic needs like heat and body chemistry. Iguanas use wavelengths of light on its environment to aid with their metabolism. These animals are very well-tailored to their natural habitat, which are humid and warm environment which can be very different from the confined cells that they are when in your captivity. So if you can provide an environment that is conducive to live in for the iguanas they might get sick or even die. Basically an iguana needs the following to survive under captivity: A large cage or room is a crucial thing in your iguanas growth, you have to keep in mind that a fully grown and properly cared for iguana can grow up to six feet long. A large 55 gallon aquarium is barely enough in your iguanas first year growth. At most the minimum height of an iguana's cage should be six feet tall and twice the length of the Iguana. Iguanas are know to be arboreal so they feel much comfortable up on high places like a tree so be sure to include even just a small branch on you cage for them to hang on. The total width of your iguana's cage must be at least half the iguana's length. The rule of the thumb should be the larger the cage the healthier. A small cage can harm your iguana's growth and can even injure and stress them out. They can even cause muscle weakness due to the small amount of space that they can crawl in causing them to be stagnant on one place and build fat and hinder the much needed exercise to burn them. The room temperature should also be taken into consideration, a basking should be provided with a temperature of ninety to ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit and the air temperature should not be lower than that what they are accustomed to which is eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Proper room temperature aids the iguanas with their digestion process. On the other hand, the inadequate supply of it can cause illness in your iguana's digestive system. Your iguana should also have a day and night cycle so you have to find ways to provide heat without the lights on night times. As you can notice, providing your iguana with the right kind of habitat is crucial to its health and growth. These things that are stated about are a must for an iguana to be able to survive in your captivity. Not being able to provide this stuff may cause death to your pet. Just try to get the right information about your iguanas need and everything will work out just fine. Having an iguana pet is not an easy thing but it I surely an enjoyable sight to watch your iguana grow. A Society that Cares: The Green Iguana Society How much do you know about green iguanas? Here are some fast facts about these animals: * Green iguanas are also called common iguanas. * They are so "common" that many people like them for a pet. * Though green iguanas are expected to be green, they may also be brown in color. * Iguanas are herbivores, eating fruits, flowers, growing spurts, and leaves of trees, on which they usually live. * They can be found in South and Central America, some islands in the Pacific, and Florida, United States. * If well taken care of, a green iguana in captivity can live for more than 20 years. The oldest pet green iguana on record lived as long as 29 years. * Green iguanas are considered as a threatened species because its habitat is slowly disappearing. There are a lot of other things that one can know about the green iguana. Bearing the information above and much more in mind, three individuals decided to form an organization of online volunteers that will provide accurate information, such as the ones above, to people who want to learn about the iguanas. And so, in the fall of 1999, the Green Iguana Society was born. Green Iguana Society The founders of Green Iguana Society had the following goals for the organization's website: * It will be a venue for finding out how to feed green iguanas and how to become an owner of one, as well as the kind of veterinarian one should consult. * The website will serve as a valuable and convenient source of information, such that enthusiasts need not go through tons of reptile writings, or frightened away by overzealous crusaders. * It will be an important provider of correct information anytime interested people need or want any information about the green iguana. * And last, but not the least, the website will encourage people to move toward improved caring for the iguana and a greater comprehension of the issues involved with owning one. The website tackles many aspects of taking care of the green iguana. From approved pieces of information and recommended products, myths and common misconceptions, kind of food and feeding, health and safety issues, to veterinarians and related societies, the website is indeed a reliable source of information for the green iguana aficionado. Some FAQ's Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the Green Iguana Society: * Why should I involve myself with the Green Iguana Society? According to the founders of the Green Iguana Society, through joining the organization, you would put across the message that you love green iguanas, you want to keep on learning on the subject of green iguanas and the kind of care they need, and the ways by which you can help share your knowledge in caring for the wonderful animals. * How much will it cost me to become a member of the Green Iguana Society? There is no membership fee needed to be a part of the organization. Fees for newsletters and other benefits may be sought later if there would be adjustments in the level of membership in the future. * Will I be included in a list of members in the website? Years ago, the founders of the organization started a listing of members in the website. However, as the years went by and many people from all over the world joined the Green Iguana Society, the founders were no longer able to keep track of all those who took part in the organization's mission and had to remove the list of members. * How old should I be before I can join? You should be fourteen years old or more in order to become a member of the Green Iguana Society. Thirteen year old kids or younger may join the Kids Club however. * What should I do to join? The website instructs potential members to fill out a form. You should provide as many information as you can and hit the Send button. That easy. There are still lots more to learn about the green iguanas and the Green Iguana Society. Why not try to find out more? Do some Internet surfing now and be a part of the society that cares! How to Pick a Healthy Iguana So, you've decided to get a pet. But you don't know what kind yet. You leave the comfort of your home sweet home and go to the local pet shop. After looking at several types of dogs, cats, birds, and even fish, you suddenly realize that you want something out of the ordinary; something that would definitely turn heads. You look around, wary that you might not find the perfect pet, when suddenly you chance upon a tank or two of very green lizards with dewlaps hanging from their chins. Some are just hatchlings, while others look somewhat old. You get excited and want to know what the animals are. You ask the clerk or pet shop owner about them. He/she tells you. He/she also gives other interesting information, like the reptiles came from Peru, Surinam, Honduras, Columbia, or Mexico; there are more than 700 species of these animals; or the lizards are called "Bamboo Chicken" in some places. You listen more and nod your head in agreement while telling yourself that you must get this animal for a pet. At long last, you tell yourself. You've found the pet of your dreams -- the iguana. However, you want to make sure that the animal is healthy. You are not just willing to spend your money on an animal that would die quickly. So, what are you supposed to do? The answer is easy: conduct a touch test. The shop owner must allow you to hold the chosen iguana in your two hands. You may use the finger of one hand to inspect the different body parts of the animal. What things do you look out for? In terms of its common appearance, consider the following: * The skin should be firm, clear, clean, and free of bites and scratches. (Bites and scratches might get infected later on.) ï The stomach should be free of burns. (Burns may eventually heal, but the skin would always be very sensitive to heat.) * The stomach has no ground-in stool. (A dirty stomach indicates that the animal is living in an unhygienic environment which can make it sick and weak.) * The opening is free of dried stool and urine. (The presence of these shows that the lizard might have parasites and protozoa in its stomach.) * The iguana resists strongly when its body parts are moved. (Weakness and instability may be a sign that the lizard is injured or suffering from calcium insufficiency.) * The limbs, tail, and the whole body have no lumps, bumps, or swelling. (Cysts, infections, and fractures need veterinary treatment.) * The rear legs and thighs are shaped normally. (A swollen leg may indicate a fracture; two legs or thighs, an insufficient supply of calcium.) * The limbs are sturdy and full while the body is smooth and vibrant looking. (If the limbs are very thin, the lizard may be starving or dehydrated. If the body looks wrinkled and dull, there may be bacterial or parasite infections.) For its head, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, you may take note of the following: * The eyes should be clear. (If they are bleary, crusted, or weepy, there might be an infection in the respiratory system or inflammation of the eyes.) * The nose has no dried or wet mucus. (Dried or bubbly mucus is an indication of infection in the respiratory system.) * The insides of the mouth should look healthy. (Infections would cause rotting of the insides of the mouth.) * The jaw is not swollen. (If it is, then, the animal might have a metabolic disease.) * There are no swellings or lumps on its face, dewlap, or neck. (Swellings may indicate abscesses.) In terms of behavior, observe the following: * A healthy baby would try to get away. ï An unresponsive iguana in your hands may be extremely ill. These are just some of the things you have to look out for when buying a pet iguana. Now that you know how to spot a healthy iguana and you have already spotted a healthy one, you leave the store with a smile on your face. It will not be an easy job to raise your newly bought iguana, but it is sure worth a try. Get Acquainted with the Green Iguanas The green iguanas or those which take the name of "Iguana iguana" are commonly found all over the South and Central America, in Mexico, in the southeastern part of Brazil, eastern Pacific, and the Caribbean. Breeds of the green iguana are now also spotted in Hawaii and Florida. The green iguana is popularly the largest type of lizard that happens to inhabit much of the territories of United States. The Physical Description of the Green Iguana In a matter of three years, the young twelve-gram green iguana can turn into a one kilogram adult green iguana. Right after they get hatched, their length varies from 17 to up to 25 centimeters. Most of the well-fed matured green iguanas come to weigh at about 4 and 6 kilograms but at times they reach the 8 kilogram weight. The term green iguana does not stereotype these reptiles. The matured iguanas come in uniform colors whereas the younger ones vary between brown and green. Their colors can also get affected by their health, mood, temperature, and social statures. One of the distinct features they have is the dewlap that can be found under their throats. The dewlap is much dominant in the male green iguanas rather than in the females. The laterally positioned eyes of the green iguanas are being protected by some immovable eyelids and mobile lower eyelids. The parietal eye functions as some kind of a meter for the solar energy and contributes much to the maturity of the endocrine and thyroid glands in these reptiles. Lastly, the plates or scales on their heads are much irregular and larger compared to the scales found on the rest of their body parts. The Habitat of the Green Iguana Arboreal lizards -- these are what green iguanas are and they therefore enjoy living on top of tree canopies. The younger green iguanas tend to stay in the lower portions but the matured ones like it high above. This kind of dwelling technique allows them to do basking in the sun and they rarely go down with the exception of the time when the female green iguanas deem the need to dig their burrows so they can lay their eggs. They still prefer to have water around their habitat so that they can easily escape the predators who love to attack them. They are great swimmers so they most of the times successfully manage to avoid their predators. The Development of an Iguana Right after an estimated 65 days upon the mating period, the female green iguana is now ready to lay her eggs. The number and size of the eggs depend upon the size of the female iguana. Within a three-day period, about 10 to 30 pale-colored eggs get deposited into the nests. Other nests can be shared by many female iguanas especially when there is a very limited space for them. Actually, the female iguanas do not guard their nests but they do visit their eggs from time to time. The incubation for the iguana eggs last from about 90 up to 120 days. The hatchlings are the ones that crack their egg shells open by making use of their special egg teeth which are known as the caruncle. The yolks in the eggs are the providers of nourishment for the young iguanas. Iguana Tattoo Some Things to Consider before Getting an Iguana Tattoo When you're thinking about getting an iguana tattoo, you should definitely try and ponder the implications of it first. Here are some factors to consider when you want to get an iguana tattoo: 1) Symbolism -- iguana tattoos and other types of lizard tattoos are usually used to symbolize the human soul's search for light. However, there are other symbolisms attributed to this type of tattoo. Before getting an iguana tattoo, you should make sure that you know what it symbolizes. You should try to find a meaning that you can identify with. An iguana tattoo costs pain to get and also costs pain to remove. You should try to make that pain worthwhile and try to find an iguana tattoo that symbolizes something very powerful in your life. However, remember that all symbols are subject to interpretation. Remember that your interpretation of an iguana tattoo may not necessarily be the same interpretation that others hold. When you realize this fact, you should also remember that your interpretation is the one that holds more weight. 2) Identification -- some people may not find any symbolic interpretations of iguana tattoos that they can identify with. However, they still get this type of tattoo mainly because they can identify with the animal. Do you have any distinct characteristics that are similar to an iguana's? Of course, this does not mean that you look like an iguana. Identifying yourself with the different traits of an iguana means you need to do some research about iguanas. Can you identify yourself as a survivor? If you think you are, then you should get an iguana tattoo because iguanas are animals which are able to remain active when other lizards have already retreated from the heat. 3) Interests -- there are people who get iguana tattoos mainly because of their interests in the animal. Some people who get iguana tattoos may have pet iguanas or at least hope to own one someday. Some people may consider iguanas to be their favorite animals and may have various reasons for thinking so. The point is, they have very distinct interests for iguanas. 4) Artistry -- when you have thought about your personal reasons for getting an iguana tattoo, it's time to decide which iguana tattoo to get. You could opt for something simple and which wouldn't hurt when being drawn. You could also opt for an intricate iguana tattoo, with shades of color that would astound every beholder. Nowadays, people are able to get designs through the internet and have those designs copied by a local tattoo artist. When getting an iguana tattoo, be sure that you know exactly where you will be getting it. You need to pick a place which could assure your health as well as the artistry of the iguana tattoo. Talk to different people to get recommendations about the place where you are going to get your iguana tattoo. 5) Placement -- the placement of the iguana tattoo is also important. Some people like to place their iguana tattoo on a place where flexing of the muscles would make the tattoo move. This gives the tattoo a lifelike appearance when they move. Teenagers sometimes like to place their first tattoos where they are hidden, unseen by their parents or by anyone they do not want to see.
Marine Iguana Pictures: They are all over the Net You may be intrigued by how the marine iguana looks like as compared with the rest of the land-based iguanas. It is only proper for you to know the distinction between them. The land-based iguanas are also tree-dwellers. Meaning, they do love to stay above the trees that you may often mistake them for ordinary lizards only that they are larger. These iguanas prefer to bask under the solar energy given off by the sun because it is by this means that they happen to normalize their body temperatures. They prefer to be warmed up rather than experience the cold climate. Next, the iguanas are good swimmers. They move fast. They can even be spotted crossing the paths where automobiles drive around. They dive into the water whenever they sense some danger around them. Now the marine iguanas are very contradictory. They are able to live in the seawater because they feed primarily on algae. The marine iguanas are also slow movers especially when they get cold. Marine iguana pictures are all over the net. You can just type in the keyword and presto, the website you've visited will give you wonderful glimpses of marine iguana pictures. Most of the times, the marine iguana pictures contain alongside with them pertinent information about the species. Marine iguanas inhabit the entire Galapagos Islands. The iguanas in here may vary in sizes and with how they look but they are still of the same breed. Their color may also vary which can be affected by their ages -- usually the younger marine iguanas are colored black whereas the adult marine iguanas may be grey, red, green, or black. Those found in the island of Espanola appear to be the most lively-colored -- they come in green and red. The color red is caused by the type of seaweed that only blooms in the island during summertime. Marine iguana pictures show that they are vegetarians. They love to feed on the seaweeds that grow on the rocks and on the algae that they get from the sea. Generally, the bigger iguanas are the male species and they have the ability to eat underwater and swim out regardless of the waves present in there. The marine iguanas can last to up to half an hour under the water and they need to bask in the sun after which to rejuvenate their body temperature. All of the iguanas are swimmers. In fact, they are too good with this. But then the marine iguanas rank to be the best swimmers. After all, they need to prove their name. The marine iguanas are able to swim through moving their bodies side to side while their legs are also held along their sides. Their flat tails are likewise fit for their swimming venture. The marine iguanas as show in their pictures appear to have sharper and longer claws compared with the other iguanas that thrive on land. This enables them to cling to the rocks tightly without being washed away by the waves. Apart from this, the marine iguanas also possess blunt noses and very sharp teeth that allow them to easily scrape the algae from the rocks. If you would like some rich information about the marine iguanas and iguana pictures, you simply have to surf the net. The images are shown clearly with helpful distinctions too. Preparation of the Iguana Nests When you have iguanas as pets, you might as well want to provide them a serene place for laying and hatching their eggs. You can make use of wooden boxes, pots, or plastic containers filled with soil and play sand so that the female iguana could dig and nestle their eggs into it. It is also a must to monitor the laying of the eggs of the female iguana since there are particular cases when not all of the eggs are expelled from the reproductive organ. You will need an x-ray so as to know the current situation of the female iguana. Do not be surprised if the mothers opt to guard their nests since it is an instinct for every living being to be protective to their offsprings. The Incubation of the Iguana Eggs The hatching can be done successfully through the incubation method. What you will be needing are media, containers, and incubators. The containers can be purchased from a lot of stores. It is best to get the containers which are microwavable will best fit the size of the incubator. One particular media to be used is the vermiculite. One very significant portion of the media you are to use is the moisture content. The recommended moisture is 2 to 1 as this may not usually require that water be used. When there is too much water content, the eggs tend to encounter some fungus problems. Likewise, very little water results to the collapse of the eggs. Finally, you will have to use an incubator. With the use of the thermometer, you must set the temperature needed. The incubators can be bought from several stores and you can likewise get additional tips from the salesmen on the incubation of the iguana eggs. The Usual Behavior of the Iguanas Prior to the female iguana's laying of eggs, they could appear to be extremely hyperactive for several weeks. The male iguanas may also be territorial. Handling the Hatchlings The eggs hatched by themselves as soon as the time is right. You will just see some cracks on the eggshells. There are moments when the hatchlings cut through under the vermiculites. The first baby iguana to hatch comes out swiftly and contains no egg sack. Most of the baby iguanas will cut their egg shells and start to drift off and then later on they will poke out their heads and go back to sleep. After several days, they will start coming out of their shells with egg sacks that will disappear in a matter of days. There are some baby iguanas which fail to hatch by themselves while others may be actually deformed. As the baby iguanas start emerging from their shells, they must not be disturbed or forced. They will just come out to the open when they think they are ready. When they get disturbed, the baby iguana will come out with some big yolks but it can tear it to pieces. Tips on Proper Iguana Lizard Care An iguana though robust and aggressive in nature needs a lot of care than most of the pet animals. Most people who got their pet iguanas for the first time do not know what to do about them or do not have the knowledge on how to properly care for them. The most important thing to do when having an Iguana Lizard as your pet is to get to know them, read articles about the, and consult some professionals on how to take good care of them. Stay away from bad informations that you might get from shop owners and other people who seem to know about it but doesn't. Most iguana owners often get confused on which book to follow and which website to look at or which person to take advice from. So to have the right information about taking good care of your iguana make sure that your guidelines are approved and also check out some credible websites about the myths and misconception about taking good care of your iguana lizard pet. Make your iguana feel at home first by not moving it from a small place first, leave your iguana in a small secluded place and observe it first for a few weeks and chart down different changes that it may project. It may be stressful for your iguana to get used to your place for the first time so but don't fret about not being able to handle your iguana for the first few weeks, this will basically make the taming process of your iguana faster. Next is to find a good veterinarian for your iguana. While waiting for your iguana to get accustomed to his new environment you should find a good veterinarian for your iguana's regular checkup. Food is another issue when it comes to taking care of your Iguana Lizard pet. Aside from the iguana food that you can buy from the pet store you can also feed your iguana with vegetables and fruits One basic rule is that Iguana Lizards are stringently herbivores, though many books recommend insects to be fed to iguanas some are still against this notion and firmly believes that feeding your iguana lizards green and leafy herbs is still the best diet. Eventually the most important thing is to provide them with fresh food and water. And they should be fed regularly everyday the number of times is not that important as long as it is fed everyday and fed enough to be healthy. Habitat of your iguana is also a major factor in your proper care regimen. You should have a large place for your iguana lizard, as time goes by your pet will grow bigger almost four times bigger the size when you first bought it. Cleanliness is also an important factor in an Iguana's habitat and with your Iguana as well. Try to clean them on very regular basis to avoid parasites that can cause sickness and odor on your iguana's habitat. One thing that you should have in mind before owning an iguana lizard is the amount of fund that you are willing to give. Owning an iguana is not an easy task both physically and financially, so be ready to shed not just some sweat but also some cash to go with it. Iguanas: The Different and the Similar Green iguanas are the ones you usually bring home to take care and pamper. What you may not know is that there are different types of iguanas out there. Oftentimes, you will see these other types not in pet stores but in the forests where they live. There are actually six types of iguanas. These are the 1. Dipsosaurus, the desert iguana. 2. Ctenosaura, the spiny-tailed iguana. 3. Lemanctus, casque-headed iguana. 4. Corytophanes, the helmeted iguana. 5. Cyclura, the rhinoceros and rock iguana. 5. Chalarodon, the Madagascar iguana. 6. Green iguana. The famous iguana that is fast becoming a part of most households is the green iguana. These iguanas may be of different types and appearances but they all have similarities terms of diet, habits and size. 1. Herbivores iguanas. The description of herbivores is the kind that eats only plant or plant matters. It can be noted that there are not many reptiles that can live on plant food alone. This is what makes iguanas unique from them. This may be the reason why people want these reptiles for their pet. Feeding them is not as hard as any other animals. Being herbivores does not mean that you can just pick any plant out there to feed your iguana. If you want to maintain its health, consider giving them nutritious green and leafy vegetables. Try lettuce. You can give it to them regularly. If you do not have an abundance of vegetables to supply, consider other alternative sources of leafy plants. 2. Tropical temperature. Iguanas are used to having tropical climates all year round. That is why you will not be able to find an iguana habitat in places where there are shifts of hot and cold climates. This is one thing that you should consider once you have decided to have a pet iguana. You are required to monitor the temperature around your house or in shelter that you have provided for them. Iguanas need constant heat to maintain their body temperature. Many iguana owners have realized that there is an increase in the usage of their electric heaters or gas once they have an iguana in their household. So if you are located in locations where there is a winter season, make sure that your heater works. If you do not have one reliable source of heat, then it is a wise idea not to consider getting an iguana. 3. Tamed iguana. Your pet iguana will not get tamed on its own. As the owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that you tame your iguana well so that they will be able to socialize well with you and with others. A tamed iguana will be able to roam around your house without moving or eating on anything that arouses its curiosity. You can also take them outdoors or in events outside of your home. You also have the ability to caress, hold and cuddle your iguana once you are assured that it will not harm you when you do so. 4. Iguanas grow big. You might be misled into thinking that your iguana will remain small and tiny all throughout its life cycle. This is a misconception. All types of iguanas will grow its full size once they are taken properly care of. In 3 to 4 years time, expect your iguana to be five to six feet long. Iguana Illnesses that need Immediate Attention Like humans, these iguanas actually also fall ill. If you have learned to love your pet iguanas, you might as well want to keep them for long. Here are some of the most common iguana illnesses that require immediate veterinary attention and proper medication or else you will lose your pets. Fibrous Osteodystrophy or the metabolic bone disease. This iguana illness comes as a result of extreme malnutrition especially when they are not fed well. Most of the shops selling the iguanas give out worthy nutritional tips and advices to the buyers of these reptiles. Most of the pet owners prefer to feed their pets with squash and lettuce. In truth, the lettuce is a water sponge -- meaning there is no nutrition to be derived from it. Such shortcoming is again aggravated by the insufficient vitamin D3 and calcium intake by the reptile. When they get exposed to this dangerous situation, they might in fact die. Among the vital symptoms of the disease are a swollen lower jaw, listlessness, rubbery or soft face and lower jaw, difficulty in eating, and swollen limbs. At most times, the spine and the limbs also easily get fractured. The paralysis of the back legs. This is the result of a deficiency in vitamin B1. The tail also gets affected. With this comes the injection of the essential minerals and vitamins to the reptile and a change in its diet is as well recommended. The nose abrasions. The frequent attempts of the reptile to escape cause the abrasions and scratches to its face and nose. When they are in search for a way to escape, they often rub their noses on the enclosures of their tanks. The abrasions are often caused by the wire, glass, or plastic enclosures of their cages. When the nose abrasions remain untreated, ulceration of the rostrum, bacterial infection, and other deformities could result. The thermal injuries or burns. The burns are usually acquired through the contact with the heat sources within the tank enclosures. Among the typical culprits are the hot rocks and light bulbs which are left exposed. The lights are advised to be placed above the enclosures which cannot be reached by the iguana. The bacterial infection. There are several types of bacterial infection that can affect the iguana. The blister disease is caused by the repeated exposure to the filthy and damp environment. The dry gangrene of the toes and tails causes these body parts to turn dark gray to black, and then start to have it breaking off. The main root of these all is the insufficient sanitation. Mouth rot causes the occurrence of inflammation, swelling, and pus in the mouth of the iguana. Abscesses results in the formation of the pus. The parasites. The parasites settle within the gastrointestinal tract just within the blood of the iguana. The parasites are the major causes of death in the iguanas which are taken captive. Viral Infection. Researches are ongoing for the causes and cure of viral infections in iguanas. Organ failure. Organ failure among iguanas is caused by its age or of an existing bacterial infection. The dominant symptoms are weight loss, loss of appetite, listlessness, bloating, and death. Bladder stones. This causes the abdomen to be enlarged. Egg-binding. This causes death among the female iguanas especially when they are unable to let the egg pass through their reproductive tracts. These and a lot other iguana illnesses require medical attention if you do not want to risk the life of your iguana pet. Some Accessories You should Include in Iguana Habitats If you have met the basic light, heating, space and humidity requirements of an iguana habitat, you might think that your work is all done. However, it should be stated that those are just the basic parts of an iguana habitat. This means that although these factors alone will let your iguana survive, these may not necessarily allow your iguana to thrive. In order to assure the best of health for your iguana, the iguana habitat should have these accessories: 1) Substrates -- substrates compose the surface of the iguana habitat. In choosing a substrate for your iguana habitat, you should remember the fact that iguanas constantly flick their tongues. This habit allows your iguana to process different types of information about their environment. You should not use anything small like wood chips, sand, or gravel as a substrate because of this reason. Anything that sticks to the tongue of the iguana is likely to be eaten. San and gravel would be very dangerous to the iguana if they are ingested. This goes for any particulate materials. In choosing a substrate, you might want to try newspapers with non-toxic ink. You could also try to use other types of paper, as long as they are not toxic to animals when ingested. Some people prefer to use pieces of indoor and outdoor carpeting as substrates for their iguana habitat. 2) Basking and climbing accessories -- Iguanas are arboreal. In the wild, iguanas spend most of their time up on trees. This means that you need to provide some sort of climbing material in your iguana habitat. Try including some shelves in an iguana habitat to simulate branches of trees. If you include branches in your iguana habitat, you should provide some that are big enough for your iguana to lie on comfortably. You should also cover them with some sort of material that will help them in climbing. One option is to cover the branches with carpeting. The branches will also serve as basking places for your iguana. These spots are where your iguana will go to in order to relax. 3) Food and water dishes -- you should provide your iguana with dishes for food and water. Although iguanas are not really inclined to drink often, it is still important that you provide them with a source of fresh water daily. Iguanas love to soak in a water dish, so you should provide one that's just the right size for your pet. It should be big enough so that the iguana won't tip it over when getting in and it should be shallow enough so that the iguana won't drown. You should also realize that after soaking, an iguana usually likes to poop in the water. This means that you will have the responsibility to change the water in the dish and sanitize it regularly. 4) Hiding places -- there are times when an iguana likes to be alone and unobserved. This means that you have to provide a suitable hiding place in your iguana habitat. You could place a log, a rock, or anything which your iguana could hide behind. Just like people, iguanas need privacy too. When you add these accessories to your iguana habitat, you can be sure that your iguana will be living in a very ideal enclosure. This means that your iguana's health and well-being will be secured. Some Issues about Iguana Food People who think that iguanas only need to be given lettuce as food would be very wrong in their assumptions. Feeding an iguana has a lot of issues involved and a good iguana owner should learn as much as possible about these issues. Here is a guide to help you with some of the issues surrounding iguana food: 1) Vegetables -- ther5e are guides which still say that iguanas should be fed insects and they may eat cat and dog food. The fact remains, however, that iguanas have bodies that are designed for effective consumption of plant protein. That means that your iguana is better off as a vegetarian. Iguana food should consist of vegetables that have high nutritional value such as collards or mustard greens. Occasionally feeding it lettuce is okay but you should not regularly do this since most types of salad lettuce contain very little nutritional value. Why is an iguana better off eating vegetables? Well, an iguana will have a hard time processing animal proteins. This task requires a lot of work from the kidneys. This means that an iguana which is fed animal protein has a high chance of developing kidney problems. Animal proteins are also hard to absorb. Often, unabsorbed animal proteins are stored in the iguana's body as uric acid this may lead to gout. So, now you know why iguana food should consist of as much veggies as possible. 2) Water -- iguanas tend to drink water only sparingly. If you do not have enough humidity in the enclosure, this would mean that your iguana will spend most of its days at least partially dehydrated. This can be bad for your iguana. An owner should try to get an iguana to drink as much water as possible. Since iguanas are not naturally inclined to do this, you should take some steps to accomplish it. One way is to spray your iguana food with water. This way, the iguana will get the moisture it needs when it is feeding. Another good idea is to try and train your iguana to drink as much water as possible. You can do this by placing a treat inside the iguana's water dish. Do this regularly and soon, you will be able to train your iguana to drink from the bowl on its own. 3) Temperature -- iguanas are cold blooded. This means that they depend on the heat of the environment for their bodily functions. No matter how good the iguana food you provide, the iguana will not be able to properly digest it without the proper temperature. After feeding, the temperature in the enclosure should be kept at least 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This will aid in the proper digestion of iguana food. 4) Calcium and phosphorus -- When choosing iguana food, an owner should always keep in mind that iguanas need calcium and phosphorus in a 2:1 ratio. This means that you should try to choose foods that contain these nutrients. 5) Light -- another issue about iguana food is the need for proper lighting. Iguanas need UVA and UVB rays to produce vitamin D3. This nutrient facilitates the proper absorption of calcium in the body. There are actually many types of artificial lighting that provide these rays, but the best source is still the sun. So if you want your pet to absorb the nutrients in the iguana food properly, make sure that you let it bask in direct sunlight as much as possible. Facts about Iguanas Most iguanas can be seen in the tropical and subtropical forests, in the deserts and along seashores. Places like Canada, Galapagos Island, South and Central America, Caribbean Islands, Madagascar, Fiji in the South Pacific and off the east coast of Africa you will find the different kinds of Iguanas. Iguanas are the most popular and the largest of the lizard family. Like the other common reptiles, they are also egg-laying and cold-blooded animal that has an ability to adapt to their environment. Different species of Iguanas greatly differs on its behavior, color, size and their status as endangered in the wild. Common species like the red iguana and green iguana are still in great numbers but species like Fiji Island iguana and Brachylophus vitiensis are becoming endangered. Different kinds of Iguanas are difficult to recognize as members of the same family. They act and look differently. Some iguanas have colors that are bright and vivid and others are dull. Each species of Iguanas has its own adaptation because it can be found in a variety of habitats. Iguana as pets In America, iguanas are kept as pets. Americans believe that by taking care of the iguana, they can save these iguanas from being extinct. Moreover, they are aware of the proper handling of iguanas, like the habitat, feeding habits and other things relevant to their existence. Iguanas are typically herbivores, eating flower buds, young leaves and fruits. Some also eat the rare juicy mealworm, wax worm and cricket. In some places in America, iguanas are fed by different kinds or dark leafy greens and different fruits. Species of iguanas grows quickly. They can be five times longer and a hundred times heavier as an adult than its size from hatchling, in just for twenty-four months. That is why it is vital for your iguana to be given proper food and diet, living area and a proper range of temperature. Iguanas that are kept in a small place without any proper food and diet and no sun exposure would probably grow at a slower rate. The bones would also become weak and easily expose to metabolic bone disease and serious fracture. How will you know if the Iguana is a male or a female? Male Iguanas usually have large fat pockets on the back of head. They tend to have large or heavy jowls and have lager femoral pores or plugs on the underside of their thigh. Also males usually have larger blockier heads than females. On the other hand, female iguanas don't have large fat pockets on their head. The latter also do not tend to have large or heavy jowls. They have very small femoral pores and plugs and usually have smaller heads. Male iguanas are also involved in courtship behaviors of erecting it spines at the back and head bobbing. During courtship male iguanas are quite aggressive but usually they are quite timid and will flee if approached. In addition, most female iguanas dig a burrow in a sunny area, lay eggs and cover them and it leave the eggs alone. The warm temperature makes the eggs incubate. Usually all eggs in the nest hatch at the same time. On the other side, iguanas face many dangers from loss of habitat to the prey on iguanas and humans eat them. Several measures can help iguana survive such as education programs for people living in iguana habitats, captive propagation in zoos and restriction on hunting. Building an Iguana Enclosure Iguanas prefer a different habitat where they can roam freely. They are more comfortable to stay in a tall, roomy, large and secure enclosure. The iguana species being cold-blooded or endothermic need to heat their body to a high temperature daily. During the break of day, an iguana put itself into the sunlight to take some warmth in sun's light. So, to be able to provide these needs you can build an enclosure for your iguana. You can do this by refitting or recycling an unused closet. It normally takes a longer time to refit closet properly but it will be helpful if you able to do it perfectly. To be able to construct a perfect enclosure for iguana take a look at some possibilities for iguana enclosures: Secured closets can be used for iguana enclosure. The size of the closet should be enough where iguana can linger. A closet with a depth of two feet is slightly narrow but it can be acceptable because of its height. For a young and female iguana, the length of the closet is all right. But for male iguana it would be confined unless it is a complement for an outdoor enclosure and a playing area in another place of the house. Daily interaction with iguana builds a bond of trust with its owner. If your iguana lives in an open cage that is made of wires and they are under heated, the iguana may have difficulty getting the most favorable optimum level of temperature. Thus, they might feel weak. That's why providing a closet would be a best option. A simple closet can also be the perfect place for your iguana to have a controlled environment and temperature. However, removing waste and transporting water can be the most difficult task of setting up closet for iguana, since it is rarely close in a sink or in a bathroom. Making the closet safe and clean is the real challenge in using closet enclosure. Iguana should not have too much space for them to hide and escape the heat. Just make the bottom two feet for space storage. Some iguanas are jerky and tend to find a hiding place usually on the bottom area. And this might bring them to the risk of having hypothermia. The enclosure must have a round closet bar and a top shelf. Closet bar could be used to hang up the lightning fixture but it will be too low for this. Instead of hanging it to the ceiling, you can move it up 'til the top of the closet and clip lights to it. It's your choice; however always remember that maximizing space is the top priority. The closet door should also be considered in using closet enclosure. The closet door will help hold the heat but it would also prevent air circulation. You have a choice to put up a screen door in the closet door space. You can inset this screen door on one side and you still have solid door to pull lock for the cold nights. Also if you have a plexi glass or solid front, always give vent to air in the wall above the door. These are just some possibilities in using closet enclosure. You can add whatever is needed to make your iguana comfortable. Just be creative and keep in mind that your pet would live longer if given a proper enclosure. Health is also the Wealth of Your Pet Iguana To maintain the health of your iguana does not mean that you need to take it out on regular walks on the park, or have him groomed in your local pet center. These are the things you would do for your pet dog but not for your iguana. Keeping your iguana healthy is a matter of knowing its basic needs. With all the information about these reptiles already available, there is no reason why you cannot have them growing big and healthy. Some people prefer to have iguana for their pet because they think that taking care of one is not as difficult compared with other kinds of pets. But then, iguanas can also be sensitive if you do not know what you are doing. Unlike pet dogs or cats, there is really no high maintenance needed to keep your iguana healthy. All that is needed are some basic necessities that may seem unimportant yet will prove vital in keeping them healthy and fit. Iguanas are like human. They are fully awake in the morning but needed the darkness of the night to be able to sleep and rest. This is one of the things you have to consider if you have an iguana. In pet stores today, you will be able to find an assortment of iguana shelters that are complete with the necessary equipments that you pet will need. For example, there are cages available that comes with a bulb that serves as light as well as a heat source for your iguana. Heat is vital in maintaining the body temperature of an iguana. Some owners go to the extent of monitoring temperatures and providing heaters for these pets. Those who cannot afford these things opt for the more conventional approach of turning lights off in the evening so the iguana can rest. But the problem with this set up is that there is no additional source of warmth supplied to the iguana. In these cases, you may find drifting off to a corner or a place where these reptiles find the heat that their body needs. For those who want to maintain an orderly temperature monitoring, there are timers that they can buy to ensure that everything is kept well in order. Keep in mind that iguanas thrive mostly on outdoor forest temperatures. That was their home before they were in captivity. It is therefore important that you maintain what they have gotten used to so that they will not find it hard to adapt to their new environment. First aid is also necessary if you notice signs of illness of skin diseases. Be sure that you have antiseptics or iodine ready for use. If your iguana appears to have an infection, you will notice dark spots or scratches that were not there initially. The best thing to do is to note if these things are starting to get worse or not. Check out the surrounding areas around your pet. Some of these things are caused by the environment that they are exposed to. If the problem persists, then it is time to consult an expert iguana veterinarian. They will be the ones who will give you advice on what to use on your pet to stop whatever symptoms of illness it is experiencing. If the health of your iguana is important to you, then you should prepare yourself for the necessary measures in maintaining and keeping them. Some Myths about Green Iguanas People who own green iguanas often have certain misconceptions about them. These myths could interfere with a person's ability to take proper care of a green iguana. Some of these myths may not be too harmful. However, some of these myths could be dangerous to a green iguana's health and well-being. Here are some common myths about green iguanas which you should know about: 1) You can feed lettuce to green iguanas -- This myth has some truth to it. Of course, since green iguanas are best kept on a vegetarian diet, you can feed it lettuce. However, you should realize the fact that most types of salad lettuce have very little nutritional value. Some people realize this when it's already too late to change the iguana's diet. This is because a green iguana which is mainly fed lettuce will continue to eat lettuce even if better foods are added to its diet. If you want to take proper care of your green iguana, you should feed it vegetables that have a high nutritional value. Examples include collards, turnip greens and mustard greens. 2) Iguanas will not outgrow their cages -- Some people think that keeping iguanas in small cages will cause their growths to be stunted. These people provide small cages for their iguanas in order to keep it in a convenient size. This will definitely not help your green iguana. A green iguana, when properly taken care of, can grow up to six feet long. This means that keeping it in a small cage will only accomplish the feat of making your green iguana's life very uncomfortable. 3) Iguanas need to consume gravel in order to help their digestion -- this is a very dangerous myth. Some people add gravel or small pebbles to an iguana's enclosure because they think that these help a green iguana to digest its food. However, you should realize that gravel or any such material could kill your green iguana if it is consumed. You should try to avoid feeding your green iguana these materials, whether by accident or on purpose. 4) Hot rocks are great for heating -- some people add hot rocks to a green iguana enclosure, thinking that these rocks are good for an iguana's body temperature. What you need to remember is that green iguanas are cold blooded. This means that if a green iguana sits on a hot rock, it can literally be cooked to death. If you wish to provide proper heating for a green iguana enclosure, you should use special lighting available in most pet stores. 5) Iguanas can eat insects, pet food, and other animal products -- Many sources today still state that iguanas should be given animal protein as part of their diet. However, the truth is that green iguanas are best suited to an herbivorous diet. The body and metabolism of a green iguana is designed to utilize plant proteins effectively. Animal proteins, on the other hand, can prove to be very troubling to them. Consumption of animal proteins can cause your green iguana to develop gout. It can also lead to serious kidney problems. The only reason that iguanas eat insects in the wild is because these get mixed up with their food accidentally. These are just some of the myths that you may have heard about green iguanas. By knowing the truth about these myths, you are now equipped to give the best care possible to a green iguana. How to Take Care of a Green Iguana When people talk about getting an iguana for a pet, they usually refer to the most common species, the "Iguana Iguana" or the green iguana. Found in South and Central America, as well as other parts of the Pacific, the iguana has become very popular among pet owners in the United States and Europe in the past few years. Active in daytime, the young iguana is usually bright green in color, helping it to hide itself from predators in the green vegetation of the forest. With its quick movements and sharp eyesight, the green iguana avoids capture quite easily. As the iguana grows older, its color changes from bright green to a muted green. An iguana in the wild spends its day trying to find a sunny spot to lie on, feeding, and trying to escape from predators. Of course, an iguana in captivity is a different case. Though there are no more predators to escape from, an iguana should be well taken care of by its owner. It maybe a popular pet, but taking care of it is by no means an easy task. Let's talk about some things to do when taking care of an iguana. 1. Provide a large enclosed space for your iguana. Since a green iguana may grow as large as seven feet, the pet's enclosure should be any owner's top priority. It may seem that the iguana is contented with a small pen; however, without ample space, it will grow listless and will be stressed, resulting to sickness and even vulnerability to infections. The enclosure should be a few times the iguana's length in either depth or width or one and a half times in height since the animal needs to move around or even climb. Later on, the pet iguana should be given privileges to roam around the house, as long as the owner will make sure that it won't be able to get out or feed on important stuff around the house. 2. Provide big branches or synthetic structures for your pet's enclosure. Not only will the enclosure look more pleasing to the eyes with the addition of the things mentioned above, but they will also make the pen a better place for the green iguana to live in. It will be a good habitat since it will provide a venue for climbing and basking -- two activities that contribute to the iguana's emotional and psychological growth. For the flooring of the enclosure, one may use mulch (a material designed to keep hold of moisture, prevent weeds from growing, and keep the earth from being eroded) or simply sheets of your daily newspaper. 3. Make sure to provide the enclosure with a good heating device. You should not overlook this since an iguana not properly heated will not be able to digest its food well. An owner should provide a good source of UV light for the iguana. The enclosure should not have any part with a temperature lower than 26ƒC while at least one part should have a temperature as high as 35ƒC. A spotlight is good for this purpose. 4. While heating and light are important, provide darkness, too. Six to 10 hours of darkness each night is also important for the iguana's well-being. The enclosure should be shielded from streetlights or lights from appliances. 5. Pay attention to your pet iguana. Any pet animal deserves care and interaction from its owner. Just like your regular cat or dog, the green iguana deserves love and affection. If not given the attention it deserves, an iguana may grow listless, sick, and eventually die. There you go. The tips mentioned above are just some of the things that have to be considered in taking care of an iguana. These are not to be used as a substitute for a consultation with your trusted veterinarian. Professional help is still needed in order to make sure that your iguana will live for a very long time. The Place to be: The Green Iguana Surf Camp Do you want to experience fun and leisure while learning at the same time? If you do, well, Green Iguana Surf Camp is the place just for you. Green Iguana Surf Camp has been in the business for a long time now, teaching guests not just to ride the waves, but also to enjoy the entire surfing experience -- all the while making sure that you know how to keep yourself safe in the Costa Rican waters. Found in the heart of Playa Dominical, where waves are the most constant in the whole of Costa Rica, Green Iguana Surf Camp offers a one of a kind adventure to young and old alike; to the surfing enthusiast and your average vacation junkie; to the thrill seeker and the exhausted traveler. Attractions Picture-perfect examples of tropical beaches, Playa Dominical and its surrounding shorelines and reefs, like Playa Guapil, Playa Dominicalito, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Ventanas, are full of ideal surfing sites. With their easy-to-ride breakers to more difficult kinds of waves, there are just no flat surfs in the places mentioned above, making them good locations for wannabes to become skilled at surfing. Intermediate and advanced surfers, on the other hand, can further hone their skills in beautiful pointbreaks known as "Papas Point" to Playa Dominical's natives or "The Point" to many. Green Iguana Surf Camp also offers many activities other than surfing. With its rainforest canopies, breathtaking beaches, and several waterfalls, an adventurer can engage in tours, kayaking, and even rappelling. The weary traveler, on the other hand, can always relax and watch the golden sunset while stretched lazily in a hammock, the sound of the rolling waves at the background. Lodgings Green Iguana Surf camp also offers lodgings to its guests. There are two kinds: the beachside lodgings and the rainforest lodgings. 1. Diuwak (pronounced as "Dee-you-wak") Resort is for those who want to be near the ocean. Elegant, rustic, and yet comfortable, it is approximately 100 feet from the sea. Diuwak has Package One and Package Two rooms. ï Package 1 or standard room has single and double beds, a private lavatory with heater, telephone, an electric fan or air conditioner. ï Package 2 or deluxe room has all the facilities from Package 1, but are a little bigger. They also have a television set and a mini-refrigerator. 2. Rainforest Lodgings also offers different amenities, but, as its name suggests, it is a place where you can stay in the forest surrounded by the profound silence of nature. So, if you want to learn how to surf in Costa Rica and reflect on your life as well, Green Iguana Surf Camp's Rainforest Lodgings is the kind of lodging to choose. Other Features Besides the nice lodgings, guided tours to the different beaches and surf areas, and trips to the waterfalls, Green Iguana Surf Camp also offers surf lessons by seasoned teachers and lifeguards, a CD featuring photos of your surf instruction, a Green Iguana t-shirt, a trip to the Reptile Park, and transportation back and forth from the San Jose airport. The packages also include meals and a therapeutic massage. Whichever package you choose, Green Iguana Surf Camp guarantees pure fun! Now, close your eyes. Imagine yourself a few days, weeks, or months from now in your summer outfit or that skimpy bikini (no need for that wet suit), smiling with sun-tanned local children, with attractive waves and palm trees neatly-lined at the beach in the background. Enticing, right? What are you waiting for then? Contact Green Iguana Surf Camp now! Tips on Getting the Right Cage for Your Giant Iguana Iguanas are usually seen in smaller sizes. But contrary to this, iguanas can be so large that you will need a whole room for it to be able to survive. This article will discuss on how to properly get or build a cage for you giant Iguana. One of the most important things in building your pet's cage is the SIZE -- size does matter when it comes to your giant iguana's cage. There are common beliefs that an iguana's growth size is only limited by the shape and size of their cage. But sad to say this statement is not true. Most iguanas continually grow faster on the first quarter of their life span and slower on the next half. So before purchasing a giant iguana, make sure that you have the proper resources and space for a big cage for your iguana's habitat. A newly hatched iguana can easily fill out a 60 gallon aquarium in just one year if properly and healthily taken care off. A small iguana in the first 6 months of his life does not need a big cage. A large fish aquarium will do, but you should be ready to spend more after eight months because this is the time where rapid growth of your iguana occurs. Another important thing to consider in building a cage for your giant iguana is the temperature and humidity of the cage. Iguanas are reptile and are cold blooded creature so they basically need an environment which is warm but not too hot. A basking point should be installed which should have a temperature of eighty-nine to ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit and the total air temperature should be at least eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Different temperature should be assigned on different parts of the cage to allow regulation of body temperature for your giant iguana pet. You can use mercury vapor lamps or fluorescent tubes in this kind of situation though some pet shops may recommend the use of hot rocks. But veterinarians are definitely against this idea. Hot rocks can burn your giant iguana's skin and can cause wound which would lead to infection and death. The humidity of the cage should also be taken into consideration. A sixty-five to seventy humidity rate should be observed for a proper iguana cage. You can have this by installing a humidifier into the cage or if you find too expensive you can just manually spray water on the cage a few times everyday. You can also try to put a large bowl of water on the cage so that it can add up to the humidity inside the cage. Lighting is also essential so make sure that your cage has the proper lighting in order for your giant iguana to survive. An iguana needs a good dose of UVA and UVB lights. This is because UVA lights kindle their natural behavior and UVB on the other hand helps them in producing Vitamin D3 which is an essential component of their digestion process. The most cheap and accessible way to get this UV rays into your giant iguana's body is by exposing them to sun rays regularly or by building their cage near a window where sunlight is abundant. It might be quite hard for you to be able to build such a complex man made biodiversity on your own place but these are essential needs for you giant iguana to survive under your captivity. So this is a matter of life and death, if you think that you cannot provide the listed requirement for your iguana then you should think twice and lay out your terms and reconsider your option about owning a giant iguana. A Healthy Giant Green Iguana like no other Giant green iguanas are the "in" thing now. This is one of the most popular reptiles that is being held captive and is taken care of in most households. So you should not be surprised if your child asks for one instead of the usual cats or dogs. If you base on the word "giant", you are probably thinking that these iguanas will appear so. Many would-be iguana owners will be surprised at the size that these reptiles can turn into in its adult years. You may have brought a little pet in the store along with cute accessories only to realize later on that those things would not fit your pet anymore. These are what giant green iguanas can turn to. They may look small initially but they can grow their maximum size if you know how to do it properly. Now, how do you do that? You can start off by choosing the healthiest iguana you can find. You will see this if the iguana seems active and alert. Check out their body and body parts. They should be round and without any signs of scratches, bumps or lumps. The difference between healthy and a not-so-healthy iguana can be seen by their movements. A healthy one does not sit around and remain stagnant in one place. You will find them moving around in their cages as if curious with what is happening around them. Their eyes would appear round. Their tongue should also flick in and out while moving about. You should not make the mistake of selecting one that appears to be calm in thinking that they can easily be taken care of. Another mistake is choosing one that appears sickly because you pity the reptile. These are sure signs that the iguana is not really healthy after all. You might end up regretting your decision later on. The next step is giving it a suitable and comfortable home. The aquarium that you need to buy will depend upon how small or grown up your pet is already. Smaller iguanas require 10 to 29 galloon aquariums. The best thing to do is have a custom-made cage built. It will prevent you from shifting to one cage after another once the iguana starts growing. It does not matter if you think that the cage is too large for your pet. Eventually, it will grow bigger and will need more room to move around. The kind of diet that you give your iguana will determine how healthy or unhealthy it will be. Iguanas in their juvenile years should be fed everyday. While those in their older years can be fed after every two days. Even if iguanas are carnivorous, the best foods to give them are green leafy vegetables. These will ensure that they maintain a healthy and balanced diet. You should do well in maintaining the kind of diet you will give your pet so that it will not turn out fat, obese and lazy. Female iguanas have the tendency not to eat the food you give them. This may be because they are in their egg development stage. Once this stage has passed, they will get their appetite back. Just be patient in free feeding them so they will become thin and unenergetic. Having a healthy iguana is just a matter of taking the necessary steps. If you want your giant green iguana to live for years to come, you will take time to consider every aspect needed in their growth. Significant Insights about the Giant Green Iguana The term giant green iguana refers to the giant lizards. They are said to be giants because they grow up to five to six feet in a span of four to five years. If you prefer not to have a big lizard under your care, then do not opt for a giant green iguana. There are no dwarf versions of this species so you must understand from the very start that green iguanas by nature can grow really large. You cannot by all means make an iguana a dwarf version not unless you expose it to severe chronic malnutrition and then to continuous hypothermia. Of course, when you do safe keep it on a tank that measures only up to ten gallons, its normal growth will be hideously hindered. Such kind of environment will also make the iguana sick and crazy to the highest level. If you are really serious in making the iguana appear small, then kill it slowly. Killing it slowly means keeping it in a very small-spaced tank container, giving it dull food to feed on, and then exposing it to extreme cold. You may likewise try to be humane and just simply buy a stuffed toy iguana. The iguanas are naturally from the exotic tropical areas so when they are taken in as pets they must be fully maintained. Meaning, they must be catered with sufficient and healthy food, homey housing environment, proper lighting, and utmost tender love and care. In the absence of any of these factors, they can be subject to premature death. It is a must that you know for a fact if you will love to take care of a giant green iguana before purchasing one. They get extremely huge and live a span of twelve to fifteen years. In terms of the breeding season, the mature male iguanas, which are then capable of mating with a female iguana, will usually appear rambunctious, mean, and grumpy. Meanwhile, the sexually active and mature female iguanas are able to lay eggs despite the absence of the male iguanas. More so, proper care should be given to the female iguanas so as they will be able to carry out a successful lying of their eggs. In truth, the giant green iguanas can be cared as pets both by the young and old. Indeed, the giant green iguana ranks as one of the well-known and most sought-after lizards. Most of the buyers of the giant green iguana have no idea at all as to how huge the young iguana could grow when the right time comes. The full-grown giant male green iguanas measure up to almost seven feet. When it comes to feeding them, vegetables are a must. Pay particular attention to offering them the leafy ones since they are plant-eaters by nature. Fruits such as banana can also be included in the iguana's diet. At a very young stage, it is important to feed the iguanas with diversified sorts of food because it is during this time that they learn to recognize the food preferences that they will go for. Once or twice in a week, the iguana should be given a small quantity of a vitamin and mineral supplement which is especially intended for reptiles. When all these insights are followed, you can be certain that your pet iguana will grow healthy. The Importance of Proper Nutrition for your Iguana Reptiles are of different kinds. Iguanas are just one of those that belong to the largest species of lard family. Iguanas are commonly seen in tropical rain forests, hot deserts and semi-aquatic places. From the forests of North America, Canada and South America to the desert places of South Africa and Madagascar and Island of Galapagos, you will be able to see different types of iguanas. Iguanas can easily adapt to their environment. Like other reptiles, iguanas are also egg-laying animals and cold-blooded, meaning they cannot produce heat from their body. Different Iguanas has its unique ability to be able to become accustomed to their habitat. They have their unique skills. Iguanas that dwell in high trees for instance, can jump off the ground without having injuries. In addition, iguanas in Galapagos Island, the Amblyrhynchus cristatus, known as the marine iguana are good swimmer. The species of iguana differ in their color, size, behavior and their extinction status in the wild. Some iguanas have vivid and bright colors, and others are dull. Most iguanas grows quickly, a hundred times heavier as their normal size as a hatchling in just about 24-30 months. But this would happen if they are given proper care, enough food, and a place with good air circulation and lots of sunlight. Most iguanas are herbivores while some are omnivore or carnivore depending on their habitat. Terrestrial dwellers are carnivore, they eat mealworms and wax worms while the forest and tree dwellers are herbivores, eats young leaves, flower buds and fruits. Proper feeding of iguanas is important. Sufficient food intake might lead to bloating, and obesity. In addition, lack of proper diet may also lead to some diseases. Cases like these are very usual so you must be prepared whatever happened to your pet. If your iguana is showing signs of NSHP or MBD you must bring your pet to a veterinarian. Your iguana is suffering from Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyrodism or a metabolic bone disease. It doesn't mean that your iguana is unhealthy if it is oversized or fat. Proper diet must be given. Provide your iguana with a high calcium and low phosphorus diet. Also, always make sure that your pet gets a proper sunlight. If you're iguana body seem to be bony and fat and jaws seem to be swollen, your iguana is in the critical stage of NHSP or MBD. This would lead to brittle bones that cause deformities and fractures. To avoid this to happen give your iguana proper diet, exercise and should maintain a good weight but not becoming overweight. It is also necessary for a fat iguana to obtain the needed calcium or phosphorus ratio for a healthy bone. How will you know if your Iguana is growing properly? Hatchling usually measures for about two and a half to three and a half inches snout to vent. When it reaches and emerges from the egg it grows three-quarters of an inch a month for almost three months. The growth of young iguanas slows to a half when it is three months old with a snout to vent of five and three-quarter inches. Iguana reaches for about 9-10 inches stout to vent in just one year. The growth of your iguana in this stage is very fast. During its twelve to fifteen months, it will grow for about triple of its original length. The growth length of iguana slows radically as the iguana continues to grow for next years. This time give your iguana a proper diet so that it would not get bigger and bigger. Interesting Informations About The Baby Green Iguana The green iguana is one kind of reptile which is commonly found all throughout South and Central America. The breeds of the green iguana are also spotted in Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil, and the Caribbean Islands. There is no definite proof that the green iguana ranks among the endangered animals but then it is sometimes misconstrued to be one because it is a major attraction to the hunters. Hunters love to capture the big female iguanas. The green iguana is also a favorite delicacy of some and it is known by the name of "Bamboo Chicken". The Physical Appearance of the Green Iguana The overly grown green iguanas typically grow in between four and six feet but there are some that extend up to seven feet. The tail takes up almost all of the length since it ranks to be almost half of the entire body measurement. Despite their being green, there is likewise the dominant black stripe coloring in its body. Not because they are called green iguanas they will already settle for the monochromatic color of green. The shade also diverts from the very bright green to the grayish and dull green. The skin of the green iguana is mostly rough primarily because of the pointy scales along the animal's back. The green iguanas are equipped with claws and long fingers so that they can easily grasp and climb. The Habitat of the Green Iguana Baby green iguanas are typically raised in the tropical rainforest areas specifically in areas with lower altitudes and accessible water resources like those of the streams and rivers. Most of their formative years are confined in the forest top at about forty up to fifty feet high atop the ground. The Admirable Adaptations of the Baby Green Iguanas Aside from the invariable claws and long fingers possessed by the baby green iguanas, they also have a lot of proficient and admirable adaptations with them. The baby green iguanas are keen in terms of their senses of hearing, sight, and smell. One of their defense mechanisms is their tail which is obviously sharp and is snapped high into the air when danger is sensed. Once a predator gets the chance to grab the tail, it grows again without any damage at all. The skin of the baby green iguana is tough -- it is able to avoid scratches, cuts, and is also water-resistant. The pigmentation on the skin of the baby green iguana helps out in the camouflaging especially when there are predators in the area. But then when their predators detect them, the baby green iguanas are able to swiftly jump from the trees and then dive directly into the water. Mind you, they are excellent swimmers. Apart from these excellent adaptations, the baby green iguanas are also strong. Imagine that they do fall off the ground at about 40 up to 50 feet but they still manage to come unhurt. The male green iguanas have what is known as the dewlap on their skins. This is the special flap on their skins which they use to impress the female green iguanas or to intimidate their oncoming predators. With these dewlaps, they manage to let themselves appear bigger. Another excellent characteristic for the green iguanas is that they are able to keep fat under their own necks and jaws for quite a time especially when there is not much of the food at hand. How to Feed Your Albino Iguana Iguanas are sensitive creatures; most of them rely on their environment for survival. Having an Albino Iguana as your pet gives you the obligation to properly care for it and make sure that it survives under your captivity. One of the most crucial factors in an Albino Iguana's survival is food. So being the owner, you must appropriately feed it with the right food. Iguanas are scientifically classified as herbivores so green leafy plants should not be in its main diet. Though some people still recommend on feeding iguanas with insects and other animal protein based food. You may have seen iguanas eating insects on televisions and magazines but research studies shows that this thing occurs only by accident. Like for example, when an insect is on a piece of plant. An iguana slowly creeps over to eat it. Then leaf and insect are simultaneously consumed by the reptile. Experts and veterinarians recommend more vegetables to be fed to your pet and lesser animal protein or insects. This will eventually lead to better physical health. Albino iguanas also need water, so make sure to provide them with this. Iguanas usually dip their head on the water when drinking, so also make sure to have a tall glass that is full of fresh water. Sometimes they also lick off small water droplets from plants to quench their thirst. Water should always be available for your iguana and make certain that they are fresh. Never feed your iguana with left over vegetables because this may cause disorders in its digestive system. It will then lead to sickness or even death. It is highly recommended to feed your iguana every day and regularly. The ideal time for feeding your iguana is early in the morning usually an hour after it is awake. Succeeding feeding all through out the day can also be done but only in small quantity. Never feed your iguana immense amounts of food before sleeping time. Feeding your Albino Iguana in the morning gives it time to properly digest food before sleeping. In addition, the morning temperature will give your iguana the right environment to properly digest its food. The amount of food to be given literally depends on the size and bulkiness of your iguana. The main rule in here is to feed your iguana as long as it wants to. This kind of technique will allow you to note how much your iguana can take over one feeding. Food for your Albino Iguana should be on a shallow bowl which should be made of ceramic, glass or plastic and should be regularly cleaned. The bowl to be used should be sturdy enough to hold your iguana and should not be tipped easily. Variety of food is also important to make your iguana feel healthy and at home. Iguanas are known to eat a large variety of fruits and flowers in the wild so it is a good idea to also feed them this way while they are in your captivity. Aside from proper food your iguana should also have the proper lighting and sunshine. Iguanas usually get calcium from the sun rays to help them properly digest their food. So if you want your Albino Iguana to stay healthy and have a longer life span feed them with the right amount of food and the right kind of food. Some Facts about the Desert Iguana 1) Description -- the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus Dorsalis) is 10 to 16 inches long when fully grown. It has a large, round body with a long tail. In fact, the tail of the desert iguana is longer than its body. Described as "blunt-headed", desert iguanas have very distinct coloring patterns. The head of the desert iguana is colored brown. This coloration diffuses into reddish brown pattern which could be described as looking like a net. The desert iguana has gray spots on the trunk and neck. Desert iguanas also have dark spots on their white or gray tails. A row of dorsal scales are located down the center of the back of the desert iguana. 2) Habitat -- As can be gleamed from its common name, the desert iguana lives in arid desert regions. Desert iguanas are commonly found in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts founding the southwest of the United States. They are also located in Northwestern Mexico and some islands on the Gulf of California. In the southern part of its habitat, the desert iguana usually lives in arid subtropical areas and deciduous forests. In the desert, these animals can usually be found around the range of the creosote bush. The desert iguana makes use of the creosote bush for shelter and for food. There are also several cases of desert iguanas moving into the abandoned lairs of kangaroo rats. They are hardy animals, often active even when other lizards have already retreated from the heat. They are also inclined to burrow into the soil near creosote bushes. 3) Food -- desert iguanas are primarily herbivorous. This means that they are inclined to eat plant matter. They will eat bud, leaves and fruits of many types of perennial or annual plants that are found in their habitats. They are especially attracted to the yellow flowers of the creosote plant. 4) Behavior -- as said before, desert iguanas remain active even during intense heat. However, if the heat proves too much, a desert iguana will climb bushes in order to seek cooler temperatures. They are very quick and they can often be seen crossing roads just before an oncoming car. When a desert iguana runs at these speeds, it often does so on two legs. It folds its front legs near its body and uses its powerful hind legs to propel it forward. 5) Natural enemies -- like other animals, desert iguanas have natural enemies. In fact, even before they hatch, there area lot of animals which would eat iguana eggs. A mature desert iguana also has different birds of prey as its natural enemy. Other common enemies of the desert iguana are small animals such as rats, weasels, foxes and snakes. Of course, man is also one common enemy of the iguana. Many a desert iguana has fallen prey to the automobile. These desert iguanas are now referred to as "roadkill" by the human beings who drive these machines carelessly and without regard for the lives of small animals. These are just some facts about desert iguanas. As you can see, there are many things about them that people need to know. Hopefully, these facts have opened your eyes and have shown you that desert iguanas are so much more than stupid medium sized lizards. By learning all you can about desert iguanas, you will soon be able to fully appreciate their beauty. Facts about the Desert Iguana The desert iguana is a very common animal to be spotted by many. There are even people who would claim that they have seen iguanas in their backyards and which are hiding behind the big rocks. By nature, the iguanas do love to feed on flowers and leaves of several bushes. So that it can take full control of its body temperature, the iguana transposes its color from the gray one to an almost pure white hue. Usually in the morning, the iguana wears the darkest of its color and by midday its changes its color to white so as to avoid feeling very hot. The desert iguana is known for its scientific name dispsosaurus dorsalis and it commonly thrives in the South Eastern California deserts preferably in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, in Southwest Utah, Southern Nevada, Baja, California, South Central Arizona, Northwest Mexico, and others can be relatively found in the gulf of the Californian islands. For most of its life, the desert iguana is fond of staying in the sandy and arid habitats usually fondling in the creosote bushes and the rocks that they call their shelters. Another place which they find solace in are the already abandoned burrows of those kangaroo rats. In the southern habitats, the desert iguanas can be usually spotted in the deciduous forests and subtropical places. Description of the Desert Iguana When the desert iguana matures, its growth ranges from ten up to sixteen inches long. The body becomes rounded and large. The tail grows long. The head becomes brown-colored which specifically follows a netlike outline that is reddish brown in hue. The trunk and the neck of the desert iguana contain tan and grayish spots. Meanwhile, its tail possesses some white or grayish spots. During the most extreme hot periods, the desert iguana climbs into the bushes to seek for cooler areas. But despite the condition of the climate, the desert iguana remains active even during 115 degrees F. Since the desert iguanas seek refuge from the bushes, they are known to be vegetarians. They are classified to be herbivores as they do eat fruits, buds, and the leaves of most of the desert-existing perennial and annual plants. They are also very fond of the yellowish flowers of the creosote bush. It eats insects, the feces of the lizards and the mammals, and the carrion as well. More so, the desert iguana is not endangered. The desert iguanas move swiftly. They are always spotted crossing the roads in a very fast pace and just simply ahead of the passing cars. Their back legs are really that powerful which therefore allows them such movement. Among their predators are the foxes, birds of prey, weasels, rats, snakes, and then the human beings. The eggs of the desert iguanas are also being attacked and eaten by most animals. The Desert Iguana's Breeding Season At the middle period of the month of March, the desert iguanas start to come out from its long period of hibernation. The breeding season for the desert iguana happens in between April up to May. In between the months of May and June, the desert iguana is expected to lay two to ten eggs that will be hatched by the later part of July till August. All throughout the breeding season, the adult desert iguanas have that pink color at the side of their bellies. Build Iguana Cage Tips and tricks in building an iguana cage Iguanas are arboreal, they prefer to stay in a large and wide ecosystem. Iguanas also tend to spend its time high up in tall trees. It is because their enemies or predators will not be able to follow them up in high trees. Most iguanas can easily hide from their enemies, by climbing jumping down into the ground without getting hurt. But today, the lives of iguanas are in danger. Some of them are being caught and eaten by wild animals. If you're an animal or pet lover you can help these iguanas to survive against predators and help them from being extinct. You can do this by taking care of iguana, by just having at least pair. Handling of iguanas needs proper planning. There are some things to be considered. The first and most important thing is building a cage or enclosure. You must provide them with a good place where they can roam while having the freedom they enjoy in the wild. Here are some more tips in building a great home for your iguana. 1. Look for a cage that is spacious and secured. A large room or a big closet can be a good place where they can roam. You can add artificial plants and branches where they can climb and hang over. If your iguana is still young, be sure to make the appropriate size of the cage. A smaller one with no hole is recommended so that they'll not escape from the cage. When your iguana grows and get habituated to his new home, you can expand the area so that it will not look crowded. 2. Another thing to consider in building an iguana cage is the air circulation. Look for a cheap but comfy closet with proper air circulation. You can put a small, low-cost and quiet fan that will help regulate the air and raise the temperature and humidity inside the cage. A closet which has a good flow of air can also prevent the growth of mildew. But in case a mildew problem occurs, you can simply wash the walls using water and bleach. 3. During the night time, you can use a heating pad to warmth your iguana. Look for a light bulb that consumes less electricity. You can simply screw a 75 watt bulb on the wall of the cage. 4. Let your iguana adapt first to the new enclosure. Iguanas might get traumatized or hurt themselves if placed in a new environment. Iguanas normally react if placed in a new enclosure by rubbing and scratching the walls. It is advisable that you stay with your iguana as they explore. Try to bond with your pet until he gets acquainted with his new environment. 5. Be cautious on the electrical connections positioned on the enclosure. All wiring must be carefully situated in areas where your iguana can't reach them. Iguanas are intrusive creatures, they will try to jump and climb up on accessible wirings and hot light equipments. 6. Lastly, keep your enclosure away from pests. Remove left over foods as soon as possible. Remember that cleanliness is the most essential factor to prevent possible problems. Building a cage for your iguana can be simple and fun. Just follow the steps above and surely you'll have a perfect enclosure for your pet. Babying your Baby Iguana the Right way If there are baby dogs, cats or rabbits, then there are also baby iguanas. It is during this stage that these iguanas appear in their most fragile and need your loving care the most. Although they appear like they are easy to take of in their small appearance, proper precaution is needed so that they will be healthy in their older years. Just like any juvenile pet, there are certain requirements that you need to provide for your baby iguana. Although they are not as meticulous and as herd to get as any other pet food, you should also consider if these things will be perfect for your iguana. You do not want them to become sickly and eventually die even before you see them in their full sizes, now do you? Here are some of the important factors you need to consider when taking care of your baby iguana. 1. Shelter. Not just any other type of cage will do. Though it does not matter what kind it is made of, you need to consider what should be inside the cage that the iguana will need. An example is having something in them that will keep your pet warm during the night. Check out for carpeting or artificial turf to cover the flooring area of the cage. If you do not have the budget for it, you can opt for newspapers because they work just as well. Since iguanas live on trees, you need to set up some branches for your pet to climb on to. Climbing on branches will form part of their leisure and movements. Just make sure that the branches are stable enough to hold their weight in case they lay down on them. 2. Temperature. Baby iguanas should always be warm in order to stay healthy. Since you have no way of telling this just by looking at them, you can put a thermometer inside their cage so you can monitor the changes in the temperature inside the cage. Make certain that you maintain a temperature of 70 degrees during the night and 85 degrees in the day. It is also a good idea for the cage for its shelter to be placed near a source of heat. You will see that your pet is inclined to have a comfortable rest if they stay close to that heat being radiated. Special monitoring of temperature is required during the cold season. Check the shelter regularly. You would not want your pet to freeze to death without you knowing. 3. Food intake. Baby iguanas need to have a diet that is rich in Vitamin D3, phosphorous and calcium. Lots of greens are also needed. You can also give them vegetables and fruits that you yourself are consuming. Baby iguanas are not used to being fed any kind of food. Their digestive system is not as strong and as flexible as cats or dogs. Know what kind of food they can take and what they cannot. Your baby iguana can grow up healthy and strong just by taking care of them the way you do any kind of pet. If it is absolutely necessary, you can consult a vet that specializes in iguana for things that are far beyond your comprehension. They will be able to give you sound advices regarding your baby iguana and the things that you need to do. Where to Find More Information about Iguanas and Lizards People who are interested in iguanas in lizards can find a lot of resources filled with information. In fact, anyone who is interested in iguanas and lizards is likely to find that one such resource is very accessible to them. Here are some resources that you can use: 1) Books -- Some people have dismissed books as being old technology. These people believe that books are outdated. They prefer the faster and more exciting information provided by computers and the internet. However, there is wisdom to be found in old books. Books are written by people who truly know about iguanas and lizards. This means that the information contained within books is very reliable. You just can't say that about other sources of information anymore. Books are very convenient for people who are looking for extensive information. Of course, you are going to have to find the right book in order to get the information that you want. When you do find that right book, you are sure to get the best type of information available. There are certain disadvantages to using books as sources of information about iguanas and lizards. As said before, you do need to find the right book in order to find the right type of information. This means that you have to get the most updated books available. Unfortunately, not all books are constantly updated and finding an outdated one may leave you with information about iguanas and lizards that is no longer relevant. 2) The internet -- The internet is the largest resource of information that you can use. With the technology of the internet, people who need information are able to get that information anytime and anywhere. The convenience of the internet is that it allows you to access the information you need instantly. The internet also connects you to other people. This means you not only get information, you also get to consult with the people who can help you with your need. The internet will allow you to access all sorts of information about iguanas and lizards. You can have information about their types, lives, how to take care of them as pets, and other types of data which you may need. The internet, however, also has its disadvantages. For one thing, many sites on the internet offer information that is not verified by experts or professionals. This means that you can't really be sure if the information about iguanas and lizards that you got from the internet is actually reliable. There are also people who place different types of malicious software on the internet. These programs can cause some serious harm to your computer. This means that you have to be extra careful if you are searching for information about iguanas and lizards on the internet. 3) Pet stores -- pet stores are great resources for finding different types of information about iguanas and lizards. However, the information that you can get from these shops is limited to information about caring for a pet iguana or lizard. Still, we're talking about pretty valuable information here. Pet shop personnel may also be very knowledgeable regarding lizards and iguanas so they may be able to help you a lot. By going to a pet shop for information, you can be sure that you will get the data you need to help you with an iguana or lizard in captivity. Some Vital Considerations Posed on the Care for Iguana Cantina The iguanas are among the most well-known reptiles which are often purchased from the leading pet shops all over United States. The iguana can grow in almost any type of climate and could utterly measure between four to six feet in terms of its length and from ten to fifteen pounds in weight. When taken captive, the iguanas can live a span of twelve to fifteen years and sometimes up to twenty years provided that they are maintained to the fullest level. Since the iguana cantinas are originally from the humid and hot environments, it is rightful to assume that these reptiles are most active when the sun is up. At times when danger is imposed on them, they can be expected to use their defense mechanism tools such as their strong tails, nails, and jaws. In their natural habitat, the iguana cantinas are spotted to be always hiding from their predators. They have very strong senses of sight, hearing, and smell and can easily detect the dangers abound. Most of today's youngsters and teenagers buy iguanas out of severe impulse but then therefore disregarding the vital facts about their proper care. As a general knowledge for everyone, sufficient basics about the requirements for caring for an iguana must be taken into consideration. The Iguana's Indoor Housing Concerns The young iguana cantina is able to live on an aquarium filled with thirty to fifty gallons of water. But of course as they are properly fed with the rightful diet, their growth would seem to advance in a matter of months. This means that the aquarium size should be adjusted as well. The aquarium enclosures come in a variety of styles and are either made out of plexiglass, wood, or simple glass. The substrate to be used must be something that can help you out easily. If you want to save, you can make use of newspapers. Among the other cool choices are the indoor and outdoor carpeting, linoleum, and artificial grass. Materials to avoid are soil, sand, and bark because they commonly invite insects and pests to thrive in them. This will in turn cause harm to your pets. The iguana habitat should be disinfected and cleaned two times in a week. It is also important to set up pieces of rocks, branches, broad limbs, or drift woods as climbing materials for the iguanas. Water for their Habitat Even the iguanas crave for water and this need of theirs should come handy. Most of their water intake source comes from the plants which they come to consume in their diets. When the iguanas are taken inside their tanks, they love to drink water from the woods or leaves inside the cage. Bathing the iguana is another good source of water intake into their bodies. This will further train the reptile to be accustomed with the water. When bathing your pet, lukewarm water must be used. The Outdoor Sunlight for the Iguanas Nothing can ever compare with the natural light coming from the sun. Sunlight will make your pet iguana cantina healthier. In a week, the iguana must be exposed to natural sunlight from five to ten hours. If you wish to place your iguana in a cage outside of your home, you should ensure that cats, dogs, or any other wild animals must not be present to pose danger on your pet. The Essential Components of a Proper Iguana Cage When people think about buying an iguana, different questions come to mind. More often than not, one of these questions is: Where do I keep it? People then try to find out the components of an iguana cage. If you are trying to find the best iguana cage for your pet, here's a guide for you: 1) Size -- The first thing you want to know about is how big the iguana cage has to be. Some people have the misconception that the cage will limit the size of the iguana. This is not true. An iguana under ideal conditions will grow up to 6 feet long. This means that you will need to have a huge iguana cage in order to accommodate your pet. In fact, some people provide a whole room instead of an iguana cage for their pets! Of course, if you are not yet ready to provide this space for your iguana, you could choose to delay until your iguana grows to its full size. However, the iguana cage that you provide should be large enough to contain the activities of your iguana. It should not cramp the animal in any way. If you choose to wait until your iguana has grown to full size, you should at least prepare and make plans for the time when you are going to need a bigger iguana cage. 2) Temperature -- an iguana is cold blooded. This means that they need to regulate their body temperatures by making use of the environment. What are the implications of this? This means that you need to provide different temperatures in the iguana cage. This is so that the iguana can move from different spots to properly regulate its body temperature. You should also try to include a source of heat without light which will be used during the night time. 3) Humidity -- iguanas require high levels of humidity to live comfortably. They are easily dehydrated because of the fact that iguanas aren't really inclined to drink much. This is because the native habitats of iguanas have high humidity and this keeps them from being dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to kidney failure. This means that not having enough humidity can shorten the life of your iguana. Another reason to keep your iguana cage humid is the fact that humidity helps loosen skin. This means that an iguana will have an easier time shedding skin if it is kept in a humid environment. If you wan to keep your iguana healthy, you should provide an iguana cage that has a humidity of 65 to 75 percent of the air. 4) Lighting -- iguanas need a source of UVA and UVB light. Of course, the best source that you can make use of is the sun. This does not mean that you should place your iguana cage in a sunlit area. The glass or plastic of iguana cages filter out the UV light much needed by iguanas for production of vitamin D3. This vitamin helps in calcium consumption. This means that you need to let your iguana bask in direct sunlight as much as possible. This helps in developing strong bones and preventing Metabolic Bone disease which is a very common cause of death among iguanas in captivity. Other than the sun, your iguana cage should also include an artificial source of UVA and UVB light. This is in order to make up for days when the sunlight is not enough for your iguana
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