Fun Iguana Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Nov 02, 2022 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Find more about this reptile by reading these iguana facts.

Iguanas are one of the many genera of herbivore lizards that are found in areas of Central and South America. They are the bigger and larger members of the lizard family and are also one of the most accounted for pets in America.

Green iguanas are primarily herbivores but are also believed to feed on small insects and invertebrates, depending on their environment.

Some of the most common species of iguanas include marine iguana, desert iguana, and green iguana, which are very common and are known to spend their lives in canopies. An iguana bite is regarded as very dangerous and requires proper medical attention.

But do not worry, the iguana species only bites when it feels that it is endangered.

The green iguana diet is entirely herbivorous and they eat plants and leaves as their primary food source. The iguana lifespan in the wild is estimated at around 10-12 years but in captivity,  a pet iguana can survive for more than 20 years.

There are various iguana species and variants that are present in the wild such as spiny tailed iguana, orange iguana, red iguana, marine iguana and various others.

The green iguana species is endangered in the wild due to predatory actions and habitat loss from human activities, but efforts for the conservation of iguana species are being organized in Mexico. Iguana pet animals are very popular as they are almost harmless to humans but animals of this species do secrete harmless venom to safeguard themselves from predators.

After reading these fun facts about iguana, do check out desert tortoise facts and frilled lizard facts to know more.

Iguana Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an iguana?

An Iguana is one of the bigger-sized species or genus of lizards that are commonly known as suitable as pet, they are almost harmless to humans. They are found in Mexico and the United States as well as on the Caribbean islands.

What class of animal does an iguana belong to?

Iguana, just like its parent family, is one of the bigger species of the lizard family and belongs to the class of reptiles. The iguana is a herbivorous animal whose diet comprises entirely of leaves and plants.

Iguana teeth are transparent in color and are designed to help them chew food easily. Other than the two iguana eyes on it's head, there is a third-eye at the top of the head which helps the animal sense light and movement, thus helping avoid predators from above.

How many iguanas are there in the world?

Iguanas are one of the most common pet lizards in America, and their population is seen to be depleted over the years. It is almost impossible to find the total number of iguanas that are found in the world, but they have recently been registered as an endangered species by IUCN.

The most endangered species among iguanas is the blue iguana found on the island of Grand Cayman.

Where does an iguana live?

As we have already seen, there are almost around forty different species of Iguanas found around the world. But the majority of them are known to live in Tropical rainforests, whereas the marine iguanas are also found in warm wetlands, desert iguanas are found in deserts, and much more.

What is an iguana's habitat?

Iguanas are very prone to warm tropical regions with lush greenery and vegetation all around.

They are native to tropical rainforests and have been listed as arboreal species, which shows that they spend the maximum part of their life in the trees and rarely come out to mate, lay eggs or change trees.

These animals usually live and spend half of their lives in the canopy as they have been adapted to their surroundings and makes it much harder for their predators to identify them.

Iguana lizards are also known for their swimming skills and usually reside near water resources as they are excellent swimmers.

Who do iguanas live with?

Green iguanas have been described as really social creatures, but these animals are also known to do well alone as well. Many iguanas live together and are known to have a very dynamic social hierarchy among their groups.

Male iguanas are very territorial in the wild and may fight against one another. The population of these reptiles is concentrated around water sources as these marine creatures are excellent swimmers.

How long does an iguana live?

A green iguana has a lifespan of around 15-20 years when held in captivity and taken care of. Also, they are known to have much less of a lifespan in the wild as they are very prone to predators.

Iguanas as pets can always live up to twenty years when these animals are kept healthy and live a life away from predators.

How do they reproduce?

Like all other lizards, females are known to lay eggs that are kept in burrows under the ground in warm and sunny areas.

Different species of iguanas lay different amounts of eggs, as female green iguanas are known to lay around 65 iguana eggs at once while rock iguanas lay around 20 eggs at once during the dry season. Females reach their sexual maturity at the age of three years and are known to lay eggs annually until they die.

The females can also produce a clutch of infertile eggs without the presence of any male.

What is their conservation status?

There are almost forty different species of iguanas that are found throughout the world including sea iguana, Galapagos iguana, Cuban rock iguana, marine iguana, green iguana, desert iguana, and many more.

But these animals have been listed amongst as one of the most endangered species by IUCN as their population has been depleting over the years. Iguana lizards are facing severe threats because of various different factors including depletion of their natural habitat caused by human development as well as harvesting them for their use by humans.

Their extinction is also feared as they are one of the most important dispensers of seeds in native plants.

Iguana Fun Facts

What do iguanas look like?

Iguanas are generally large-sized lizards that are found mostly in Mexico and the Caribbean. The most amazing feature they possess is the presence of a third eye known as a parietal eye. This eye is known to transmit signals to the pineal gland to indicate whether it is day or night and other bodily changes.

An iguana lizard is known for its iridescent coloring.

How cute are they?

Iguanas are really cute and are a favorite pets among reptile collectors. They are really intelligent as well as affectionate, but they are not social creatures even though they like being in the warmth of humans and like their heads being petted.

How do they communicate?

Iguanas are not much of a social creature. But they do communicate with one another through head bobbing and also with the use of their skin flap under their neck that creates movement, called the dewlap. They are also known to move their heads slowly in upwards and downwards motion as to acknowledge the presence of one another.

How big is an iguana?

Iguanas are really big pets that take up and require so much more space than your regular pets. They keep growing steadily until they reach the age of 5-7 years and reach their maximum size of 60-84 inches.

How fast can an iguana run?

One of the other striking features of these creatures is their speed. Iguanas are really fast and are known to run even at a speed of 21 miles per hour at their maximum.

They can run really fast and are known to escape easily by running and with the help of their parietal eye to identify the predator and this also helps them to catch their prey.

How much does an iguana weigh?

Iguanas have different weights based on each species. But an average adult male iguana weight range is 8.8-17 lb. The larger male iguanas can reach and even exceed the weight range of 13-18 lb while a female iguana weighs between 3.3-6.6 lb on average.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Just like many other creatures, there is no specific name given to the male and female species of iguanas. The male species is regarded as male iguana and the females are regarded as female iguanas.

What would you call a baby iguana?

A baby iguana or the young ones of iguanas are referred to as hatchlings as they are known to hatch from eggs and are only about 3 inches big when they are born.

What do they eat?

Iguanas are primarily considered to be herbivores feeding on a variety of trees, plants, leaves, flowers, and fruits. However, iguana food comprises a diet variety of small insects, birds, mammals, and invertebrates, especially when they are young.

All species of Iguanas are known to have a well-developed digestive system that supports the omnivorous character of these creatures and contains a type of bacteria that helps in the fermentation of plant materials as well as flesh.

Are they dangerous?

It varies from one iguana to another. Iguanas are usually friendly creatures but are known to attack when they feel threatened.

They are known to produce a weak, harmless venom that almost causes no harm to others, but they have dozens of sharp serrated teeth, which can cause serious injuries and harm to others. Iguanas are one of the most common pets to reptile collectors, and they are rarely seen to bite humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Iguanas have long been favored as pets, but they are nowhere in the scope for normal pet owners. These creatures are really hard to train but can be trained effectively if they have been trained since they were small. A relatively older iguana would be much harder to train and be domesticated.

Even though after all this, iguanas are one of the smartest creatures, as are all reptile pets. They are able to recognize their owners as they have a great memory.

They can be taught to go to the washroom at a desired time along with being affectionate. Iguanas are also known for their friendly measures and are really clean, which is suited to many of pet owners and they rarely smell if their cage is not cleaned properly.

Did you know...

Iguanas are known to have around forty-five different species existing around the world but they are primarily native to Central and South America.

Iguanas have been deemed as reptile invaders in America and are known for being found widely over there, especially in Florida.

The blue iguana is also known by the name of Cayman Island rock iguana as it is native to the region. It is one of the most endangered species among iguanas and green iguanas account for the highest population.

Pet iguanas often try to lick their humans to try to learn more about them and also to identify them.

Iguanas have exceptional swimming skills and use their flattened tail for swimming through the water while their legs hang uselessly on their sides.

Do iguanas attack dogs?

Iguanas can attack dogs and cats if they sense danger. But they are passive herbivorous creatures that cause almost no harm to your dog or cat.

One of the other things to be careful of is that to keep you should keep your dogs or cats away from Iguanas to make sure they do not eat a dead iguana as it can prove to be fatal to their health.

What is special about iguanas eyes?

Iguanas have a third eye other than its two regular eyes which is also known as the parietal eye.

It is one of the most distinguishing features of this creature, but it does not work as a regular eye.

The parietal eye looks like a pale scale on their body and is situated on the top of their head, and helps as one of the best guarding features from their predators.

This third eye cannot see shapes or colors as the normal eyes but can calculate movement and light, which helps them track their predators from above and safeguard themselves.

Iguanas are also known to have great eyesight and can see color and movement through their regular eyes, even from a large distance.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including marine iguana, or Galapagos tortoise.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our iguana coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

Read full bio >