Rhinoceros Iguana Facts
There are thirteen different species in the lizard family, with the iguana family being one of them. Usually iguanas belong to the group of reptiles that are part of the largest species. The most popular species of iguanas are found commonly in Mexico and south to Brazil.
The common iguana is green in color with dark bands forming rings on its tail. Iguanas, like most other reptiles, are cold-blooded and are very capable of adjusting to their environment. They are also egg-laying animals. Different species of iguanas have various sizes, behaviors and colors. Their endangered condition out in the wild also varies.
Different types of iguanas have various appearances and behaviors. You may not even realize they are part of the same family. Some of them have a bright and vivid color while others are dull.
Iguanas live in different types of habitats so they each have their own unique way of adapting. A majority of iguanas are herbivores. They eat fruit, young leaves and flower buds. Some of them eat the wax worm and meal worm as well.
Rhinoceros Iguana Origins
The rhinoceros iguana belongs to the iguanidae family. They are one of the more popular members and are commonly referred to as the rhino iguana or rhinoceros iguana.
The species got its rhinocerous name due to its horn-shape that is found on male iguanas heads. They are mostly found on land with dry and rocky terrains. More infrequently they are found in forested areas or trees. The Rhino Iguana is a lot heavier than the green iguana but not as long.
This species is comprised of large reptiles that are heavy-bodied lizards that have a homogeneous gray body. Males have a protrusion on their head that resembles three horns. The average body length of a rhino iguanas is 4.5 ft or 1.2 m long and weighs 4.5-9 kg or 10-20 pounds.
The rhino iguana is an omnivore. They eat invertebrates, birds, small mammals and many different kinds of vegetables. They lay approximately 15 to 20 eggs that develop in around 75 to 100 days. Rhino iguanas typically reach sexual maturity around their second or third years. The rhino iguana can live as long as 20 years or longer. A majority of them reside in savannas and dry rock areas.
Complicated courtship behaviors are experienced by a majority of male iguana which consists of bobbing their heads and erecting their spines along their backs. They are usually very timid and will run away when approached. However, iguana males are quite aggressive during courtship. On the other hand, female iguanas have a smaller horn-like shape compared to males. Female rhino iguanas can hoard sperm and mate with multiple male rhino iguanas.
Rhino iguanas are very territorial. They use their long tails and whip to ward off intruders and predators. The rhino species are able to re-grow teeth that they lose in battle. Male iguanas do engage in territorial battles, but they rarely escalate to full aggression. However, their face offs sometimes last for as long as several hours.
Rhinoceros iguanas, due to their population, are especially susceptible to man made and environmental disturbances. People living on islands eat iguanas frequently as food due to their poor economic status and the iguana's accessibility. Iguanas are protected due to the broad scale release of them in zoo and pet trades. Wildlife organizations also protect species and play an important role in conserving rhinoceros iguanas as well as other species.