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More About Lizards
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Habitat and Distribution: Iguanas are found in many different habitats in North and South America. For example, the Green Iguana lives in rainforests, the Desert Iguana lives in deserts, and the Marine Iguana lives on the sea by the Galápagos Islands.
Anatomy: Iguanas vary in color from green to brown to yellow (their coloring lets them blend into the background). These reptiles have a long tail, eyelids, and four sprawling legs. A row of spines runs along the back from the head to the tail. Iguanas have a dewlap, a loose fold of skin under the neck that can be extended to signal to other iguanas. On the top of the head, iguana have a "third eye," a patch of pale, scaly skin that senses light (but does not see images). Iguanas use their powerful, clawed legs to swim and climb trees. The biggest iguanas (green iguanas) average 5-6 feet long; the smallest species of iguanas are less than a foot long.
Diet: Iguanas are primarily herbivores (plant-eaters). They eat leaves, flowers, and fruit. They also supplement their diet with insects, worms, and other small animals.
Predators: Iguanas are killed by some large birds of prey, foxes, rats, weasels, some snakes, and people. Their eggs are also eaten by many animals.
Reproduction: A female will dig a shallow trench in moist soil in which she will lay 20-70 eggs. After covering the eggs with soil, there is no more parental care. When the eggs hatch, the young live in trees and eat insects that they catch themselves.
1. What does the iguana's third eye do? _________________________________
2. What is the flap of skin under an iguana's chin called? _________________________________
3. What is this flap of skin used for? _________________________________
4. What is the mainstay of an iguana's diet? _________________________________
5. How long are the biggest iguanas? _________________________________
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