The Rhinoceros Iguana: Important Information (Viewed 1399 times)
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Essential Information About The Rhinoceros Iguana

The rhinoceros iguana, a tropical creature, is related to the Galapagos marine iguana. This herbivorous lizard resides in North America's tropical, dry forests. It is particularly prominent in forests surrounding the Carribean sea and on Hispaniola, a nearby island. Residents and visitors of the Navassa Island reported seeing a lizard that is related to the rhinoceros iguana; this lizard was previously believed to be extinct. Most people call rhinoceros iguana "cyclura comuta", which is the proper scientific name. Now we will venture into essential details about the unique iguana.

Physical Description of the Rhinoceros Iguana

The lizard is widely regarded as a very powerful and intimidating lizard. This is largely due to the firm row of spines across it's back and body. The rhinoceros iguana's lengthy legs give it extra height; it appears to be walking above ground. This lizard is typically grey-brown in color. It is a very large member of the iguana family; the male rhinoceros iguana may grow as long as 56 cm and weight up to 10 kg.

The rhinoceros iguana appears to have epidermal scales, which attributes to the lizard's rough appearance. The lizard's head features prominent scales that are often mistaken as horns though some of these lizards do indeed have horns. The male lizards are naturally larger than their female counterparts, and they are known to have bigger horns.

The Diet and Lifestyle of the Rhinoceros Iguana

As mentioned above, iguanas are primarily herbivorous creatures. They are known to consume leaves, fruits, seeds, and flowers. A  rhinoceros iguana's diet can vary depending on the season. During some time periods, these lizards do consume land crabs, animal food, carrion, and insects. Young rhinoceros iguanas are known for consuming small insects and even petite animals. When these iguanas use a bush or similar location for the primary food source, they become territorial and will defend the area from their own species.

These lizards spend a large portion of their days consuming food and absorbing the sun's heat. During the night, they reside in caves, hollow trunks and other burrows. Male rhinoceros iguanas act as defenders of where they reside; they can be seen perched on elevated trees and sizable rocks when they are basking in the sun. The males are known for acting in a hostile manner towards the other members of the male species, and their mannerisms indicate that they are very territorial. The rhinoceros iguanas typically communicate by a simple head-bob motion.

The Reproduction Cycle of the Rhinoceros Iguana

The rhinoceros iguana begins the reproduction process in the springtime prior to rain season, which typically occurs towards the end of may. The female lizards begin digging tunnels that are approximately one meter long, and this is where they lay their 34 eggs. In most cases, the eggs are laid in the early weeks of August. After six months pass, the eggs begin hatching. The newborn rhinoceros iguanas are similar to their parents, but they tend to spend more time in trees. After about three years, the lizards reach their mature stage and can live as long as 30 years.

The rhinoceros iguanas are like most other living iguanas; they use solar energy to regulate their internal temperature. Some people prefer to have rhinoceros iguanas as pets though in earlier times these creatures were consumed as food.