All About The Desert Iguana (Viewed 1451 times)
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All About The Desert Iguana
Posted on December 11, 2015

The Desert Iguana


The desert iguana is a remarkable animal and well known to the people who share its desert habitat. Many people frequently spot the iguana lying about their gardens or feeding on the various blossoms and bushes they find tasty.

The desert iguana takes greater control over his body's temperature by shifting colors from dark gray to an almost pure white. The iguana switches his tines to darker colors in the early morning and by midday lighter tones to avoid overheating.  

The desert Iguana, also known as a dipsosaurus dorsalis by those of the Latin speaking scientific community, thrives in the desert climates from the Southeast California across the Mojave and Sonoran deserts that cover a good portion of California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona as well as Baja California and the Mexican Northwest.  

The iguana is most at home in the arid desert with sandy rocky terrain, they prefer nesting deep in crevices and caves in the ground. During the day it will move about on the rocks and beneath the Creosote bushes for shelter.

Desert iguanas will also make use of the tunnels systems left by desert rats and other burrowing creatures.  they are quite resourceful and will live comfortably alongside humans so long as boundaries are respected. An iguana will bite to defend itself if cornered, but it is a poor defence.

Another habitat the iguana finds quite comfortable are the deciduous forests and subtropical jungles. Although the Iguana prefers to keep cool and favors moderate temperatures, its body is designed to withstand the harsh extremities of life in the desert.

Description of the Desert Iguana

The full grown desert iguana can grow to a length of 16 inches (40.64 cm). Young iguanas are thin and long but grow increasingly more corpulent as they age. The head will also begin to take on a dark reddish brown hue and an attractive net motif. The trunk and neck of the iguana are speckled with gray patches.

The iguana is especially adept at climbing and when temperatures rise the iguana will often seek refuge from the heat below by climbing into a tree. But regardless of the high temperatures the iguana stays highly active even when temperatures reach an excess of 115° F. (46.111° C)

The Desert iguana lives and survives off the desert plants where it takes shelter and is believed to be vegetarian. The diet of the average desert iguana includes insects, fruits from the creosote plant, leaves and other plants and veggies in its environment. the desert iguana is not in any danger of extinction.

The iguana moves sluggishly foremost of its life but is capable of propelling itself forward on its hind legs at a surprising speed. They have to escape the many predators that thrive on the iguana including lizards, snakes, weasels, foxes, birds of prey and of course human, many who say the desert iguana is a tasty treat.

The iguana’s eggs are also a sought after staple of the desert.

The Desert Iguana's Mating Habits

At the end of March the iguanas will be coming out of there long winter hibernation and getting a bit frisky. Mating period will last until the end of May, during this time the iguana has a pinkish tone to the underside of their bellies.

Females will lay up to two sets of ten to twelve eggs, these can be expected to hatch at the end of August. Iguanas do not provide any care for their young, once they hatch they perfectly capable of looking out for themselves.