Iguanas are a well known and are generally well-liked among the human population. However, unless you are a lizard lover or basically a iguana lover, there are some things you may not know about this interesting creatures. Listed below are five facts about iguanas that you may not know.
1. Iguanas are herbivores. This means they do not eat meat but rather plants. Some sources cite that iguanas are omnivores. Yet, iguanas should not eat animal product because their metabolism is better adapted to absorbing the proteins of a plant. Animal proteins are too multifaceted for iguanas, it won’t be used right. Basically, the proteins that animals have cannot be absorbed into the iguanas’ bodies for nutrients.
What, then, happens to the proteins not absorbed? It turns into uric acid that is very dangerous for an iguana. When a build up for the uric acid happens in the iguana, it turns into a gout. Animal proteins can be very hard for iguana’s digestive system to get rid of, putting pressure on the reptiles’ kidneys. In turn, causing the reptile to have kidney complications. Feeding an iguana animal products will indeed shorten the lifespan of the iguana.
2. Iguanas Are Trainable. For those who think iguanas would be nice to have but are pretty stupid, you might be surprised to learn that iguanas are just as smart as a dog or even a cat. An iguana can be taught to things like human beings. Some people have taught their pet to use the bathroom while others have trained their iguanas to do many tricks. If lost, some iguanas can find their way home.
This is just to show you that even reptiles can learn things, provided their trainers take the time to teach them. People often are too quick to judge other animals because they are lower than other animals.
3. Iguanas do grow. Just because you bought your iguana’s cage to fit him does not mean, he will always fit in that cage. Some iguanas have grown to six feet long. This is especially true if the iguana has a loving habitat and environment that will more than adequately let the iguana grow. When debating the size of the iguana’s cage, a person should always keep in mind how long the iguana can grow for and plan accordingly to avoid future issues.
4. Iguanas are arboreal. What does this mean for its owner. Remember that iguanas in the wild spend a good chunk of time in trees. To stimulate growth of the iguana, an owner should stimulate its habitat as well. Place some type of climbing material in the iguana’s home although you do not need to place “real” trees to create the official effect. Just something as simple as a post can let your iguana feel like they are back in the wild, perched on the tree.
5. Iguanas crave sunlight – Like most things that grow, iguanas need sunlight too. Not only to have the light but to also absorb it. An iguana will utilize UVA and UVB light so they can absorb nutrients correctly. The UVB light will trigger a chemical reaction in the reptile’s skin which will help make vitamin D3. What does D3 do? It processes the calcium within the bloodstream.
As you can see, care for an iguana is no easy feat. Yet, by learning more about them, you can assure your iguana will live a full and happy life.