The Great Green Iguana (Iguana Iguana) is known as the largest lizard in the Amazon and Caribbean. Juveniles are born a bright and light green. When they grow into adults their crest gives them a peculiar pre historic look.

a macro of a fantastic green iguana eye

As an adult they can reach a length of up to 180 cm. The tail alone will take up two third of the total body length. You would think that their size would be a disadvantage for them by making them too visible. But somehow they manage to stay under the radar. First of all thanks to their skin color they can blend in very well with their surroundings. With the camouflage, the right posture and patience they can fool anybody. And with amazing running, climbing  and swimming skills these creatures  are true survivors.

Only during Suriname’s Dry season (August – October) these lizards are becoming very vulnerable. That is the period when the female appears out in the open and is laying dozens of eggs in a well-formed nest in yielding soil. In 3 months time bright green baby Iguana’s will crawl out of their birthplace and  immediately continue into the nearest tree for cover and protection.

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The Great Green Iguana is a diurnal lizard, meaning that they are active during the day and are resting in the nighttime. They are solitary animals that are spending most of their time in trees. They live mostly from freshly collected plant leaves and insects. Their habitat is found mostly in primary forest close to the riverbanks, gardens and coastal area (with mangroves)

Both the eggs and the meat of the Great Green Iguana are enjoyed as a delicacy. That it is why it is difficult for this family to increase in numbers.

 

Read magazine n° 2