Jamaican iguanas are large, grayish lizards with a green or blue tint, olive-green colorations around their shoulders, and dark triangle-shaped blotches down their dorsal crest. Males can grow up to 17 inches long, while females reach only 15 inches. They are mildly dimorphic: males possess large femoral pores beneath their thighs that release pheromones, while females have smaller pores and lower dorsal crests. These iguanas nest in underground burrows filled with loose soil and lay up to 20 eggs in early summer.
Interesting Fact 1
Once common throughout Jamaica, their population dropped dramatically after the Indian mongoose was brought to the island as a form of rat and snake control. The iguanas were considered extinct for four decades until a small population was discovered in 1990.
Interesting Fact 2
Some zoo-born iguanas are released into the wild once they're large enough to fend off the invasive mongooses.
Interesting Fact 3
Females guard their nests alone, using aggressive displays, biting, and chasing to fend off enemies.
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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.