High up in the branches of mangrove trees, well camouflaged by leaves, the green iguana (Iguana iguana) feels fairly well protected and browses on leaves, flowers and fruit. If it is threatened, this large lizard will dive from the tree into a swamp or river and swim to safety. It can fall 12-15 metres to the ground unhurt if the water is too far away to break its fall. Not all of its time is spent climbing or swimming: the cold-blooded iguana also lies on rocks basking in the sunshine.

The green iguana has long been hunted for food by South Americans, who call it 'bamboo chicken', although some say the taste resembles rabbit. Many wild iguanas have been captured for the pet industry but iguana farms now cater for the trade and laws protect it from over-hunting.


ARKive photos and videos of the green iguana

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