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iguana

iguana (Ĭgwä´nə), name for several large lizards of the family Iguanidae, found in tropical America and the Galapagos. The common iguana (Iguana iguana) is a tree-living, strictly vegetarian species found along streams from Mexico to N South America. Members of this species are 3 to 6 ft (90–180 cm) long, with the tail accounting for two-thirds of the length. They are bright green with dark stripes on the tail. A crest of spines runs from the neck to the tail. The flesh and eggs of the common iguana are valued as food. Spiny, or black, iguanas (species of Ctenosaura) are ground-living vegetarian lizards found from Baja California to Central America. The chuckwalla (Sauromalus obesus) and the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) are desert species of the SW United States and NW Mexico. The 16-in. long (40-cm), greenish chuckwalla is the largest U.S. lizard except for the gila monster and is known for its ability to inflate itself, making it difficult to extract from crevices. The gray-brown desert iguana is marked with dark spots and stripes; it lives in burrows made by other animals. Both feed on cactus flowers and fruits and tender desert plants. Basilisks Basiliscus (species), found along streams in tropical America, are large iguanas that can walk in an upright position; males are crested. A marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), the only marine lizard, is found in the Galapagos Islands, where there is also a land species (Conolophus subcristatus). The large, diverse iguana family includes many smaller species not called iguanas. They are found throughout the temperate and tropical Americas, as well as in the Fiji Islands and on Madagascar. Most North American lizards belong to this family, including the collared lizards, the utas, the swifts, the so-called horned toads, or horned lizards, and the American chameleon, or anole (not a true chameleon). Most members of the family feed on insects and other small animals as well as some plant matter. In nearly all species the females lay eggs in the ground. Iguanas are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Iguanidae.

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iguana

iguana Any of numerous species of terrestrial, arboreal (tree-dwelling), burrowing or aquatic lizards that live in tropical America and the Galápagos Islands. The common iguana (Iguana iguana) is greenish-brown, with a serrated dewlap and a crest along its back. Length: to 2m (6.5ft). Family Iguanidae.

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iguana

i·gua·na / iˈgwänə/ • n. a large, arboreal, tropical American lizard (genus Iguana, family Iguanidae), esp. the green iguana (I. iguana) with a spiny crest along the back and greenish coloration. ∎  any iguanid lizard.

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iguana

iguana large arboreal lizard. XVI. — Sp., of Carib orig.
Hence iguanodon large fossil lizard. XIX.

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iguana

iguanaAlana, Anna, bandanna, banner, Branagh, canna, canner, Diana, fanner, Fermanagh, Guyana, Hannah, Havana, hosanna, Indiana, Joanna, lanner, Louisiana, manna, manner, manor, Montana, nana, planner, Pollyanna, Rosanna, savannah, scanner, spanner, Susanna, tanner •Abner • Jaffna • Patna • caravanner •Africana, Afrikaner, Americana, ana, banana, Botswana, bwana, cabana, caragana, Christiana, Dana, darner, Edwardiana, garner, Georgiana, Ghana, Gloriana, Guiana, gymkhana, Haryana, iguana, Lana, lantana, liana, Lipizzaner, Ljubljana, Mahayana, mana, mañana, marijuana, nirvana, Oriana, pacarana, piranha, prana, Purana, Rosh Hashana, Santayana, Setswana, sultana, Tatiana, Tijuana, Tirana, tramontana, Tswana, varna, Victoriana, zenana •Gardner • partner •antenna, Avicenna, duenna, henna, Jenna, Jenner, Morwenna, Ravenna, senna, Siena, sienna, tenner, tenor, Vienna •Edna • interregna • Etna • Pevsner

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Iguana

Iguana ★★ 1989

The videocassette box art makes this look like a horror movie, but it's really a stiff, solemn period drama about a deformed sailor with lizardlike features. After a life of mistreatment he reigns mercilessly over a handful of island castaways. An international coproduction with mostly English dialogue, some Spanish and Portuguese with subtitles. 88m/C VHS, DVD . SI IT Everett McGill, Michael Madsen, Joseph Culp, Fabio Testi; D: Monte Hellman; W: Monte Hellman, Jaime Comas Gil, Steven Gaydos; C: Josep Civit.

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Iguana

Iguana

The iguana is a warm-climate lizard that has a long body covered with scales, a crest along its back, and short limbs ending in five digits. The common iguana (Iguana iguana), found in tropical America, is green. It may reach six and a half feet in length, including its tail. Extensively hunted for its chickenlike meat, it is very popular in Central American markets. An excellent swimmer, it drops into water if threatened by danger. The Rhinoceros iguana (Cyclura cornuta), extremely rare, inhabits the island of Hispaniola. It is so named for the three horns on its snout.

The Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is black. The Hood Island iguana, which has reddish spots, is the only lizard known to feed in the surf, mainly on seaweed. During the mating season, each iguana has a carefully marked territory. If one male invades the territory of another, a long, nonfatal fight ensues. If a female iguana trespasses on the territory of another female, there is a bloody battle. An excellent swimmer, the Galápagos marine iguana spends time underwater and basking in the sun.

The Galápagos land iguana (Conolophus subcristatus) is a brown, quiet, inoffensive leaf eater that lives in dry, sparsely vegetated areas. It has a heavy body and strong limbs. The total length averages 43 inches, including a 24-inch tail. During the mating season, males fight ritual battles. This species is threatened with extinction due to hunting by humans, birds of prey, and introduced wild animals. It is strictly protected in the Galápagos National Park; eggs are collected and iguanas are raised at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos.

See alsoGalápagos Islands .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baschieri Salvadori, Francesco B. Rare Animals of the World. New York: Mallard Press, 1990.

Bates, Marston. The Land and Wildlife of South America. New York: Time, 1964.

Patzelt, Erwin. Fauna del Ecuador. Quito: Banco Central del Ecuador, 1989.

                                               RaÚl CucalÓn

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