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5 Intriguing Facts About Iguanas

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Iguana Facts for Kids

Kids who are fascinated with these long-bodied lizards will be interested in learning everything about iguanas. These popular pets can live for a very long time when cared for properly at home. They are better suited for older children who are responsible enough to handle them properly and take care of their needs. Here are some interesting facts kids will want to know before deciding to adopt a miniature reptilian pet. Be sure to read books about these intriguing creatures for even more facts.

  • Know their owners. Although these lizards do not offer the same level of companionship and recognition as other types of pets, they absolutely do respond to their caretakers. Iguanas have keen vision and an uncanny ability to recognize sounds. While they will not respond to someone calling to them, iguanas can distinguish between different voices.
  • Sometimes lose their tails. This is a survival tactic when snagged by predators in the wild. The muscles between the vertebrae allow for a clean break of the tail, which often grows back if the iguana is healthy. Pets make snap off their tail if it somehow gets caught on something or prevents them from moving freely. It may be worth having a veterinarian examine the pet to make sure medical intervention is not required.
  • Require high temperatures to survive. These reptiles are ectotherms, meaning that their body temperature is dependent on the surrounding environment. The ideal range is mid-70s to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Pet owners will want to be sure the glass enclosures are fitted with ceramic or mercury bulbs to provide sufficient heat. When the temperature is too low, immune systems will fail and metabolism will slow to dangerous levels.
  • Frequently shed their skin. Multiple times every year, iguanas will go through a process of eliminating their outer skin layer. When this occurs, the skin will turn dull and iguanas will often rub up against nearby objects to help scrape it off. If you notice a pet iguana sitting still with its eyes squeezed shut, take note of its body. It will likely look a bit puffier as this also helps it shed its skin.
  • Iguanas are herbivores. Animal proteins are extremely harmful for an iguana's kidneys, so meat should not be incorporated into the diet. To keep a pet healthy, dark leafy greens are recommended. Iguanas also can benefit from other vegetables like snap peas, peppers, carrots, and squash.

  

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