Down in the Caribbean there are a few islands that are the home to the rhinoceros iguana. These little reptiles have a lifespan of about 20 years. They can get up to 53 inches long and 20 pounds, and they’re endangered.
These iguanas live in rocky limestone environments like tropical dry forests, lowland shrubs, and coastal forests. They’re endangered because of habitat loss, illegal poaching, and non-native species like feral cats and dogs are killing them off. They also compete for food sources with livestock.
Rhinoceros iguanas are active during the day and they’ll spend their nights sleeping around warm rocks. They’re herbivores, the one we take care of at my zoo loves grapes and fresh leaves. Wild rhinoceros iguanas are important to their habitat because they distribute seeds throughout their island. They’re solitary animals and only come together for mating. Males will fight for dominance during the breeding seasons.
They need high humidity to help their shedding and a lot of basking time for UV light. We’re currently revamping the holding area for our rhinoceros iguana at my zoo. He’s been a bit lazy lately, so we’re hoping a change to his environment will help perk him up and help make him more comfortable.
Rhinoceros iguanas are really cool reptiles. If you ever get the chance to see one, take a good look at the pattern of its scales and the colors involved. They’re beautiful.