Caring for Baby Iguanas

In order to begin caring for the babies, you have to ensure that they are born into a healthy environment. If you have a female iguana that is about to lay eggs, this section applies to you. Ensure that your mother iguana has a safe, clean and quiet place to lay her eggs. The female iguana likes to bury her eggs, so fill the enclosure or cage with soft dirt for the burial. If you suspect that one of the female iguana’s eggs has gotten “stuck” inside her reproductive system, you may need to take the mother iguana to the veterinarian for x-rays. Once the mother has laid and buried her eggs, she will be very defensive of them, so keep this in mind when tending to the enclosure. When the time comes, the eggs will hatch, and the baby iguanas will be born. Do not force them to come out and do not disturb them while they are in the process of being born.

It is important that babies live in the right kind of shelter. Make sure that the cage has artificial turf or some kind of carpeting to help keep the temperature warm. You can also use newspapers to line the cage if you cannot obtain artificial turf. The cage should also have a heating lamp or some kind of heater, especially if the nights are cold. Put a thermometer inside the cage so you can monitor the temperature. The ideal temperature for the cage should be 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Last but not least, place some branches or something for the iguana to climb on.

A baby iguana’s diet is also very important. Their diet should consist of food that contains Vitamin D3, phosphorus and calcium. Leafy greens should be a part of their diet. You can also feed the iguana the kinds of fruits and vegetables you eat on a regular basis, such as the aforementioned leafy greens like lettuce and berries. They have a delicate digestive system, so you cannot just feed them anything. Stick to the vegetables and fruit mentioned and they should be fine. Also ensure that they have plenty of clean water. You can also try going to your local pet store for specialized iguana food.

Iguana Facts

Iguana Behavioral Characteristics

Iguanas can seem to be threatened fairly easily, and when you don’t observe their mannerisms and behavior closely enough you may get bitten or hit by its massive tail. Unlike cats and dogs, iguanas will not vocalize a lot before biting, so be careful particularly if the iguana hasn’t been fully tamed.

When you first bring your new pet home do not over handle him or overexpose him to strangers. It will take a few weeks to gradually acclimate him to his new environment. Once he is comfortable in his new surrounding, begin to socialize him gradually and the bonding process will go much better.

The dewlap, or the large wad of skin beneath the iguana’s jowls, is additionally used to communicate. In the wild, an iguana may raise its head to extend the dewlap to signal a basic “Hello” to members of its own species.

An extended dewlap may also mean that it is attempting to protect its territory from the human owner or from other iguanas. During mating season an extended dewlap may mean “I desire to mate”. This only applies should there be female iguanas in the same enclosure, and it’s mating season.

If your iguana has been tamed, and is used to your presence, an extended dewlap may signify it is just a little drafty and it’s making an attempt to make itself feel warmer.

Iguana Mannerisms

  • Head Bobbing: I am the man of the house?
  • Head Bobbing: (to owner) “Howdy Mate!”
  • Head Bobbing: (fast, laterally then up and down) I’m threatened do not go near me!
  • Tongue Flicking: Just exploring the air. Possibly eating something.
  • Tongue Flicking: I’m about to take a bite from something.
  • Sneezing: I’m purging my system of something.
  • Tail Whipping: I’m planning to attack.?
  • Squirming Around: I do not like being held.
  • Head and Front Legs Stretching: I feel great and I feel good!

Iguana Anatomy

Just like other reptiles, your iguana has a set of eyes that have evolved to scan the environment for food and potential predators. It has a pair of ears that are protected by a fairly wide element of skin called the subtympanic shield.

The iguana also forms spines along its back; these pliable spines are called the caudal spines and, as time passes, these grow in length and become harder. Iguanas also have a flap of skin under their lower jaw known as the dewlap.

Iguanas are herbivorous (they are nourished by plants only), so they are equipped with small, yet very sharp, teeth that are designed to tear apart fibrous plant matter. Be cautious when bringing your hands near the iguana’s mouth, because those teeth can cause serious tears in your skin. If you look closely at the top of the iguana’s head, you will observe a prominent, light patch of scale.

This is called the parietal eye, or third eye. The iguana uses its third eye to detect changes in light in a given area. It is thought this primordial eye is also used to detect flying predators, hence the iguana can make a run for cover before becoming another animal’s lunch or dinner.