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Iguanas Anoles and Relatives: Iguanidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Cape Spinytail Iguana (ctenosaura Hemilopha): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, IGUANIDS AND PEOPLE

CAPE SPINYTAIL IGUANA (Ctenosaura hemilopha): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
COMMON CHUCKWALLA (Sauromalus obesus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
GREEN ANOLE (Anolis carolinensis): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Iguanid lizards are found in North America, Central America, South America, Fiji, the Galápagos Islands, Madagascar, and the West Indies.

Iguanids live in a variety of habitats. They usually are terrestrial, living on land. A few are arboreal, living in trees. Many prefer arid, or dry, areas. These desert dwellers often seek territories, or home areas, with at least some vegetation, rocks, or other cover to provide escape routes from predators, or animals that hunt them for food. Other iguanids seek wooded areas, including rainforests. An unusual habitat is that of the marine iguana, which lives by the ocean.

Iguanids feed on insects, spiders, and smaller lizards. A few species, such as the desert iguana and the chuckwalla, eat leaves, fruits, and flowers. The marine lizard eats (AL-jee), plantlike organisms that live mainly in water.

Iguanids do not interact with people in the wild. Habitat destruction from the clearing of forests and commercial land development can wipe out the places where the lizards hide and breed. Too much collecting for the legal and illegal pet trade causes problems for some species. Certain mammals (such as dogs and cats) that enter their territory along with humans can kill the lizards. In some areas people use larger lizards as food.

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Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other Reptiles