Mention the word, “Iguana” most people think of Green (Common) Iguanas, who are often kept as people’s pets. However, the Family of Iguanas contains a wide variety of dramatic looking Lizards. The largest group of Iguanas, Anoles are streamlined Lizards with a narrow head and an erectable throat fan. Meanwhile, Horned Toads (Lizards) have a mass of spikes all over their bodies.
The word “Iguana” comes from the Spanish version of the Carib word “Iwana”. Famous as rafters, Iguanas sailed on vegetation “rafts” from mainland South America to the Galapagos Islands. Moreover, They rafted to Fiji and Tonga in the Pacific as well, since both island groups are situated in the same ocean current – South Pacific Gyre.
Texas Horned Lizard (USFS)
In spite of being familiar to people, Iguanas have their mysteries.For instance, how did Iguanas, who are natives of the New World, end up in Madagascar? Why did Marine Iguana decide to feed on marine algae when food is available on land? Why does Desert Iguana prefer yellow flowers?
Whatever mysteries They may keep, Iguanas stand out for their striking body ornamentation, which ranges from flaps, frills, crests, to spikes. For Some Iguanas, this may be a raised crest that runs from their heads along their back on to the tail. Meanwhile, Other Iguanas have dewlaps that hang in folds from their throats, which They use as flags. Another feature that people notice about Iguanas is their tails are at least as long as their bodies. In addition, Iguanas’ feet end in five long “fingers”, which has razor sharp claws, instead of nails.
Iguana Family teaches, “Adorn yourself and enjoy the attention.” For example, large colored dew flaps or spikes all over their bodies makes for out-of-the-ordinary Lizards. Iguanas attract attention with their bright colors and spectacular crests. So can you. Just expect to be noticed all the time.
Take time to read what the Individual Iguana Teachers have to teach.
Knight Anole (Who Zoo)
Iguana Family Teachings Also Include:
“When iguanas appear as totems and messengers, they help us to break down the things that are no longer beneficial. They remind us it is time to simplify our life.” Copyright: “Animal-Wise”, Ted Andrews
Note: The Agamidae, which includes Frilled Lizards, Water Dragons, and Flying Lizards, are Iguana Family’s counterparts in the Old World.
Conservation Note: Iguanas are endangered in the wild because of the pet trade and hunting. Various countries of the West Indies and Belize have laws protecting Iguanas. However, feral Iguanas in several U.S. states have done much damage to the flora and fauna. Green Iguana is illegal to own in Hawai’i for the same reasons.
Horned Toad Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Knight Anole Photo courtesy of WhoZoo.