Where Do Iguanas Sleep?

Most green iguanas live in the rainforest, with a few of them being in coastal and drier areas. Since they live a cold-blooded lifestyle, they gravitate towards warm temperatures. As arboreal animals, they like staying in the trees, which is where iguanas do sleep. For most of the day, they enjoy staying in the forest canopy. They only venture to the ground to move to another tree or lay eggs. If you didn’t know, some of the species of this animal are good swimmers and jumpers. 

Iguanas prefer to stay in hidden places. As diurnal animals, they show activeness during the day with their sleep business happening at night. They like taking on their sleep in quietly dark spots. Their sleep cannot be likened to that of humans; iguanas go into a state of low activeness and reduced pulsing but do not stop being aware of the conditions happening around them. When periods are calmer and more relaxed, you will see them looking lethargic or basking in the sun.

This article intends to open you up to the nuances of iguana sleep. But before that, let me interest you with some information about the different types of iguanas

The Different Iguana Types

The following table provides you with the different types of iguanas that are out there in the pet market:

The Different Iguana Types
Cayman Brac
Cuban Rock
Grand Cayman
Rhino Iguana
Green Iguana
Albino Iguana

Now, Let Us Get Some Brief Information About All Of Them:

1. The Hypomelanistic

From time to time, these types of iguanas turn up in clutches and have an almost-lime-green skin color. Since the melanin pigment in their skins is reduced, they need to get vitamin D3 supplements regularly. That should also explain the nature of their name.

2. The Cayman Brac

Generally speaking, this iguana is silver, big, and gray. This iguana’s head is not like the usual ones of other species; it is long-angle-shaped and has a flat appearance.

3. The Cuban Rock

These are the coolest and biggest species that you can get. If you choose to go for the Cuban as your pet, you need to be ready to dedicate your life to it. They live for up to 80 years.

4. The Rhino Iguana

This one that people love the most. The good thing with the rhino iguana is its passiveness.

5. The Grand Cayman

These are also known as blue iguanas because of their blue skins. Also, they grow up to five feet and a weight of about 30 pounds. The blue color manifests when they are marking their territories.

6. The Green Iguana

In pet markets, you are likely to find many green iguanas. In the years that have passed, breeders have come up with differently shaded types of the green iguana.

7. The Albino Iguana

You love this lizard for its color, which can either be yellow, orange, or pink. As you handle an albino iguana, have it in mind that it can bite hard and show some aggression. Iguanas of any shape or form should stay in cages.

Iguanas And Their Sleep

If you observe the sleeping behavior of iguanas, you are likely to realize that those lizards sleep in the following places: somewhere hidden, out of the way, somewhere unexpected, underneath something, or somewhere away from light and heat. Generally speaking, iguanas will sleep and live in places they feel secure. They do not like a lot of light, which can disrupt their half-sleep or comatose state.

Iguanas And Sleeping In The Wild

No one can doubt that nature has a lot to offer when it comes to places of stay. This means that in the wild, iguanas have a lot of places to choose from. However, here are some of the favorite places – under rocks, branches, or leaves, in dark spots, mini-caves, and small holes. Iguanas also choose to stay and sleep in different places all the time so that predators get confused. However, this acts counterproductively as the iguanas get preyed on while moving from one hideout to another.

In the wild, iguanas like living and sleeping in rainforests. They use the vegetation abundance to hide from predators. Many animals that live looking over their shoulders choose to hide in rainforests.

Iguanas And Sleeping In A Terrarium

An iguana sleeping in a terrarium is dependent on a few variables, and here is their explanation:

1. The Magnitude Of The Terrarium – if the terrarium is enormous, the iguana automatically gets multiple sleeping spots. So, you are likely to find them sleeping in different places. If the terrariums are small, the iguana gets minimal options, and you can guess where the lizard is sleeping.

2. The Features In The Terrarium – if the terrarium has branches, you will probably find the iguana using them. If the terrarium has objects that offer snugness and darkness, the iguana will use them as sleeping sports. If you wish to make the terrarium a sleeping hub, get the items (like bridges and caves) from a pet shop.

Actually, Iguana’s Don’t Even Sleep

As mentioned in the primer to this article, iguanas do not experience sleep in the same way as we do. Instead of the almost-unconscious human state of sleep, they go into deep rest. All their metabolic processes slow down, and their heart rates drop.

The A To I Tips For Getting Your Iguana Healthy Bouts Of Sleep 

Pet owners that have iguanas should know that these lizards deserve a lot of care. Of the many areas that can be improved, sleep is one of them. Here are some tips to help you give your iguana the best sleep moments. Putting all or most of them to practice maximizes the chances of your iguana sleeping best:

1. If the iguana lives in a terrarium, ensure that you have natural materials such as vegetation. These will provide the iguana with sleeping’ options.’

2. In the same enclosure, you can have a small dark area, a bridge, or a cave. These will help the iguana to hide and feel secure about itself.

3. Get the enclosure to obey a light-dark cycle. When daytime comes, open all windows for the iguana to know that it is morning. When nighttime comes, draw them in. When light strikes, the iguana will start its activeness, and when the darksome times come, it will reduce its business.

4. Ensure that the environment is stimulating so that the iguana becomes active with purpose. However, let the options be limited so that the iguana can sleep.

5. If you can get a larger terrarium, go for it. This will provide the iguana with more opportunities in terms of spots for sleeping.

The terrarium should have a rainforest style outlook. This way, the iguana will remain both healthy and happy.

Bonus Section: Iguana Facts

As you might know, iguanas are part of the lizard population and are among the largest in the American continents. They are highly adaptive lizards that live in different environments such as water bodies, tropical forests, and arid deserts. For the most part, they are herbivores. However, that does not stop them from eating invertebrates and insects. After they finish with an eating session, they find the right spot and bask in the sun. The basking also contributes positively to their digestion. Reptilian experts recognize about 45 species of iguanas, and some of them are endangered.

Iguanas, like chameleons, can changes colors. Also, they can change the form of their tail’s base to get away quickly. Here are more facts about the iguanas that you will love:

1. Expert Recognize Up to 45 Species Of This Special Lizard

In the world, iguanas are found in Fiji, Galapagos, the Antilles, and the Northern, Central, and Southern parts of the Americas. They exist in various colors and shapes, and their size range is between 5 and 6 inches. These lizards live in trees, in rocks, and on land. Many of the iguanas living in captivity (as pets) are not native to those areas.

As you may already know, the species that is most recognized is the green one. It is a widespread and common species. The one member of the iguana family that visual strikes people is the Grand Cayman (mentioned in the table). It also goes by the name blue iguana and is the heaviest of them all. The Galapagos marine iguana is another species that can engage in underwater swimming.

2. Sunbathing Is The Ultimate Experience For Iguanas – They Love It!

When the temperatures go below the 40-degree mark (Fahrenheit), the iguana’s muscles start experiencing a form of paralysis. This makes the lizard start going into a hibernation state. It is crucial to note that this does not happen in the tropically hot areas in Central America. The iguanas that experience that sense of hibernation are the petted ones in southern Florida. When this happens, the iguanas may lose grips and fall to the ground.

However, that shouldn’t be alarming – the tumble does not mean that the iguanas are nearing their death. That is why they crawl to sunbathe so that they get warmed up, and when the falls come, they are no ill effects. 

3. Their Tails Break Off At Some Point

As you may know, the iguana’s tail is an essential part of the reptile’s anatomy. It assists in two main things – maneuvering and climbing, but those are not the only two things. The tail serves a self-defense purpose. If an iguana comes across a predator of sorts, it will try to bewilder and distract its potential attackers by tail thrashing. To make quick getaways, the animals can break off some part of their tail, which may grow back in a year’s time. Even if iguanas do not have many predators, they do not stop themselves from reacting to an intruder’s touch.

The male types of iguanas do not spare other males – they fight over mates and basking sites. So, it is not safe to have two male iguanas in the same enclosure. This will only make matters worse. When the fights happen, both parties suffer significant damage.

4. The Fiji Iguana Can Turn Itself Black

As mentioned elsewhere, a good number of iguanas behave the same as chameleons in terms of shapeshifting. To warn predators, the Fiji Banded iguana starts turning black.

For your information, the population of these impressive shifter iguanas is going down because of predation (by species like domestic cats and mongooses which have been introduced to them). Also, their habitats have been lost.

5. Some Iguanas Are Brilliant Swimmers

You may think that all iguanas love staying on land or clinging onto the limb of a tree. However, that is not the case, especially for the Galapagos Islands marine iguana. This remarkable and rare species of the iguana will spend a lot of time inside a water body, the male going up to 100 feet below the water’s surface. In terms of feeding, the iguana eats algae found in the underwater rocks.

Since the swimmer iguana is cold-blooded (like the rest of them), they always come back to the surface of the water to warm up. They have a dark coloration that improves their heat absorption abilities. While they only stay underwater for a few minutes each moment, they can do so for about 30 minutes.

6. Iguanas Unique Have An Extra Eye

No – the iguana is not an ogre, but they have a scale known as the parietal eye. This scale sits on the top of their heads and functions powerfully, albeit having a simple physiological structure. It helps in the detection of light and darkness changes and sense movement too. It helps iguanas in evading predators. The eye helps to alert its iguana that a threat is imminent.

The other real eyes of the iguana effectively work as they provide both distance and color vision.

7. They Are Uniquely Herbivorous

Most of the diet consumed by an iguana is plant-based. However, the lizards usually treat themselves to some insects. Depending on where the specific iguana lives, it can eat marine larvae to flowers and fruits together with leafy greens. The non-plant things that are consumed by iguanas are slugs, carrion, insects, and land crabs. The iguanas that live in the desert enjoy leaves, buds, and some insects. For young green iguanas to grow exponentially, they feed on insects and spiders during those early years.

8. Their Longevity Is Guaranteed 

An iguana can grow to over 60 (human) years. As mentioned elsewhere, the species that has the most extended lifespan is the Grand Cayman rock iguana. It can grow up to 60 years (in captivity) and up to 40 years (in the wild). Since the wild operates on the law of the jungle, an iguana is likely to live up to about eight years. The species with the shortest lifespan is the marine iguana, which is slightly above six years.

9. Some Iguana Species Are Endangered Critically

The green iguana is out of the endangerment chart since it is the most populous of all the other species. Of interest here are the Galapagos land iguana and the Exuma rock iguana. The Galapagos iguana is in the critically-endangered zone since its population is about 192 individuals in an area range of about nine miles squared. This critical endangerment results from the predatory moves made by feral cats and rats that roam about the island. The other one – the Exuma rock – is affected by the flora-fauna changes in its native habitat.

10. Iguanas Adore Their Eggs

Depending on the specific iguana species, there is a difference in the number of eggs laid. For example, about 5 to 20 eggs get laid by the Rock iguanas. When the mother iguana delivers, they try to burrow them away in a warm place. There is no weaning of the sort; a baby iguana is left alone to mature by itself after hatching occurs. This implies that they start surviving immediately they are born. Many times, predators intercept them and kill them before maturity comes. The ones that survive the harshness of after-birth go up and live for about 20 years. If they are in captivity, these young ones die sooner than expected.

The green iguana, which is the most populous species, produces up to 60. Looking at the sheer numbers, you get the impression that the green iguana may not be at risk of extinction for a couple of years.

11. When Young, They Look Little – But They Are Actually Very Tough

Phenomena like tail break-offs make it seem like these lizards are delicate. However, that is not the case. In comparison to other omnivorous reptiles and carnivores, these lizards have a special biting force. This feature helps in the breakdown and digestion of the plant matter they come across.

The reason why iguanas are like that is because of years of evolution. Their skull has strengthened and widened, meaning that it can withstand tough forces. The strength of this skull bone is seen when iguanas fall from great heights and remain alive. For example, the green iguana has been seen falling from a height of about 12 meters and crawling safely after that.

12. Iguanas are Smart Enough To Pick Out the Sound And Sight Of Their Owners

Many people who don’t know the nuances of iguana behavior are unfamiliar with this fact. The truth is that pet iguanas are masters at recognizing their owners’ sounds and sights. The vision of an iguana is apparent – it assists the lizard know if their owners are around.

Another thing is that even though iguanas lack an external ear, they have an impeccable sense of hearing. The iguana comes with a tympanic membrane (or an external eardrum) on each of its head’s sides and connected to the surface of the iguana’s skin.

While the sounds they hear may be in a different range of frequency from those of humans, they can distinguish between voices. This does not mean that they will come when you call them. However, they are quite responsive to their caregivers.

13. The Iguanas Experience Skin Shedding

When iguanas become bigger, they experience the shedding of skin. The exciting detail to this phenomenon is that the shedding happens throughout their lives. During the shedding of their skin, you will see the iguanas puffing up its body and closing their eyes. Engaging in these kinds of behaviors helps to loosen the skin that is shedding. If there are skin patches that are not yet shed, the iguanas will start rubbing their bodies against some particular objects in their enclosure.

There is a way that you can help the iguana to shed off its skin. Take them and soak them in a shallow bowl with warm water in it. Also, you can try misting their bodies. Depending on the humidity level, shedding can go on for a day or a few days.

14. Iguanas Make Communications Between Each Other

I hope you do not think that iguanas communicate the way we do – that would be hilarious. While iguanas may not use verbal language to make communication, iguanas gesture to each other effectively. The two items they use in talking are their head and the flap of skin that hangs from under their neck/chin, known as the dewlap. They bob their head and move their dewlaps.

To say hello to another iguana, one iguana will try to extend its dewlap. That gesture could also be used to communicate. When male iguanas are courting their female counterparts, they extend the flap of skin. The bobbing of the head only occurs when iguanas want to acknowledge the presence of each other. When an iguana bobs its tiny head faster – side to side or up and down – it could be that the iguana is particularly upset or in an aggressive mood. If the bobbing happens rapidly, it could be an implication that the iguana needs some space as it is extremely upset. The last non-verbal element is the whipping of the tail, which only happens when an iguana feels like it either threatened or intimidated. All these expressions imply that while iguanas may not make any utterances, they get their messages across.

Leave a Comment