The Iguana SpeciesThere are many types of iguana species and new ones are being discovered all the time. The most common ones seen in the home as pets are the green iguana. These are best suited to life with humans because of the different types, they are a good size brightly coloured and their characteristics are good natured – compared to other iguanas, and easy going. But they can be demanding to care for and need attention from their owners. The desert iguana is smaller than its Central American cousins. It is found in the deserts of California and Nevada. Desert iguanas grow to reach approximately ten inches long. They are diurnal creatures and are active during daylight hours and sleep at night. They are reddish brown in colour with distinctive netlike markings on their upper body. They eat insects and plants such as the desert-native creosote bushes. Rhinoceros iguanas are an endangered iguana species. They live in the Caribbean and can grow between two to four feet long. They are brown and grey colours with strong legs and flattened tails. They have large bodies and their heads are strong looking, hence the name. They are mostly herbivorous and eat plants, berries and fruits and flowers on their native Caribbean islands. They are endangered, although they are well established in captivity. The Madagascar iguana is tiny compared to some of the others. It has a slender body and shiny scaly features. Its colours are muted reddish browns. They are a conundrum because they occur well away from other iguana species, and yet taxonomically they fit the criteria of ‘iguana’, so how they arrived in Madagascar is a total mystery. They are carnivorous and mostly eat insects and small rodents. Helmeted iguanas are another iguana species found in Central America, mostly Mexico. They can grow upto fourteen inches in length and live among the lower branches of trees. They can eat spiders and other lizards and earthworms etc. Iguanas are such a varied species that new ones have actually been discovered. But they have been missed for centuries because they are already endangered! The new pink species of iguana is a larger, scaly version and only lives on the side of one particular volcano in the Galapagos Islands. New iguanas have also been found on Fiji with brightly coloured markings. These interesting species constantly surprise even the most knowledgeable experts!
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