Iguana is a genus of herbivorous lizards native to tropical areas of Mexico, Central America, several islands in Polynesia such as Fiji and Tonga, and the Caribbean. The genus was first described in 1768 by Austrian naturalist Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti in his book Specimen Medicum, Exhibens Synopsin Reptilium Emendatam cum Experimentis circa Venena. Two species are included in the genus Iguana: the green iguana, which is widespread throughout its range and a popular pet, and the Lesser Antillean iguana, which is native to the Lesser Antilles and endangered due to habitat destruction.
The word "iguana" is derived from a Spanish form of the original Taino name for the species, iwana.
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The marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is an iguana found only on the Galápagos Islands that has the ability, unique among modern lizards, to live and forage in the sea, making it a marine reptile. The iguana can dive over 9 m (30 ft) into the water. It has spread to all the islands in the archipelago, and is sometimes called the Galápagos marine iguana. It mainly lives on the rocky Galápagos shore, but can also be spotted in marshes and mangrove beaches.
The Turks and Caicos rock iguana (Cyclura carinata) is a critically endangered species of lizard of the genus Cyclura that is endemic to the Turks and Caicos islands. Turks and Caicos has 50,000 rock iguanas, the healthiest population of rock iguanas in the Caribbean.
The Turks and Caicos rock iguana, Cyclura carinata carinata, was first described by American Zoologist Richard Harlan in Fauna Americana in 1825. Its generic name (Cyclura) is derived from the Ancient Greek cyclos (κύκλος) meaning "circular" and ourá (οὐρά) meaning "tail", after the thick-ringed tail characteristic of all Cyclura. Its specific name carinata means "keeled" and refers to the animal's scales. The species is endemic to 50-60 of the 200 islands and cays that make up the Turks and Caicos Islands. It has one subspecies which lives on Booby Cay, (Cyclura carinata bartschi)Bartsch's iguana . Morphological and genetic data indicate that the closest living relative of C. carinata is C. ricordi of Hispaniola.
The Iguanidae are a family of lizards composed of iguanas and related species.
The desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) is one of the most common lizards of the Sonoran and Mojave deserts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. They also occur on several Gulf of California islands.
The species was first described in the Catalog of North American Reptiles, by Spencer Fullerton Baird and Charles Frédéric Girard, in 1859 as Crotaphytus dorsalis it was reclassified two years later as Dipsosaurus dorsalis by Edward Hallowell. The generic name comes from a combination of two Greek words meaning "hungry lizard": "Dipsa" (δίψα) for "thirsty", and "sauros" (σαῦρος) for "lizard". The specific name, "dorsalis", comes from the Latin word dorsum meaning "spike", in reference to a row of enlarged keeled scales on the middle of the lizard's back which form a crest that extends almost to the tip of its vent. Dipsosaurus is a monotypic genus with D. dorsalis being its only recognized species.