Friday, March 2, 2012
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.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
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.
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.