Lesser Antillean Iguana
Scrub forest and woodland in the Northern Lesser Antilles – a group of islands in the Caribbean.
Mainly herbivorous, feeding on leaves, flowers, fruits and shoots, depending on the season.
Male iguanas are territorial and will threaten rivals by displaying their dewlap and bobbing their heads. They also display a behaviour known as snalting – using a special gland to sneeze excess salt out of their nose.
Female iguanas lay anywhere between 5 and 30 eggs. The eggs are buried underground and the babies hatch as fully formed mini-iguanas.
Habitat loss and hunting affect the remaining populations, although it is hybridization with the introduced green iguana that poses the main threat.
Classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, these animals are legally protected throughout their range, although enforcement is difficult. Paignton is one of only a handful of zoos that keep this amazing lizard.
- Latin Name: Iguana delicatissima
- Class: Reptiles
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Iguanidae
- Conservation status: Critically Endangered
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