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5 Iguana Facts Many People Don’t Know

Iguanas are well known and generally popular with the human population. However, unless you’re a lizard lover or basically an iguana lover, there are a few things you might not know about these interesting creatures. Below are five facts about iguanas that you may not know.

1. Iguanas are herbivores. This means that they do not eat meat but rather plants. Some sources state that iguanas are omnivores. However, iguanas should not eat animal products because their metabolism is better adapted to absorbing plant proteins. Animal proteins are too versatile for iguanas, they will not be used properly. Basically, animal protein cannot be absorbed into the iguana’s body for nutrients.

So what happens to proteins that are not absorbed? It turns into uric acid which is very dangerous for an iguana. When uric acid build-up occurs in the iguana, it turns into gout. Animal proteins can be very difficult to get rid of in the iguana’s digestive system, putting pressure on the reptile’s kidneys. In turn, causing the reptile to have kidney complications. Feeding an iguana an animal product will actually shorten the iguana’s lifespan.

2. Iguanas are trainable. For those who think that 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 trained 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 just goes to show you that even reptiles can learn things, provided their trainers take the time to teach them. Humans are often quick to judge other animals because they are lower than other animals.

3. Iguanas grow up. Just because you bought your iguana’s cage to fit it doesn’t mean it will always fit in that cage. Some iguanas have grown to six feet. This is especially true if the iguana has a loving habitat and environment that will more than adequately allow the iguana to thrive. When discussing iguana cage size, a person should always keep in mind how long the iguana can grow and plan accordingly to avoid future problems.

4. Iguanas are arboreal. What does this mean for its owner? Remember that iguanas in the wild spend a large part of the time in trees. To stimulate the iguana’s growth, an owner should also stimulate its habitat. Place some sort of climbing material in the iguana’s house, although you don’t need to place “real” trees to create the formal effect. Something as simple as a post can leave your iguana feeling like they’re back in the wild, perched in the tree.

5. Iguanas crave sunlight – Like most growing plants, iguanas need sunlight. Not only to have the light but also to absorb it. An iguana will use UVA and UVB light to properly absorb nutrients. UVB radiation will cause a chemical reaction in the reptile’s skin that will help produce vitamin D3. What does D3 do? Processes calcium in the bloodstream.

As you can see, caring for an iguana is not an easy task. However, by learning more about them, you can ensure that your iguana lives a full and happy life.

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