Question:

How to breed iguanas?

Answer:

First get a male that is 3 to 5 years old, then get a female that is 2 to 5 years old. Green iguanas breed in the dry season. MORE

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Cyclura is a genus of lizards from the family Iguanidae. Members of this genus are known as "cyclurids" or more commonly as rock iguanas and only occur on islands in the West Indies. Rock iguanas have a high degree of endemism, with a single species or subspecies restricted to individual islands. The 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. Currently there are nine described species and eight subspecies identified in this genus. Rock iguanas most often inhabit subtropical areas of West Indian dry forest biomes characterized by eroded limestone and sparse vegetation ranging from only moderately dry acacia forest to much drier mesquite and cactus habitats. These are nonvolcanic islands made up of heavily eroded limestone which form natural caves that the iguanas use as retreats. All rock iguanas are herbivorous, consuming leaves, flowers, berries, and fruits from different plant species. A study in 2000 by Allison Alberts of the San Diego Zoo revealed that seeds passing through the digestive tracts of rock iguanas germinate more rapidly than those that do not. These seeds in the fruits consumed by cycluras have an adaptive advantage by sprouting before the end of very short rainy seasons. The iguanas are an important means of distributing these seeds to new areas (particularly if females migrate to nesting sites) and, as the largest native herbivores of many island ecosystems, they are essential for maintaining the balance between climate and vegetation. Their diet is very rarely supplemented with insect larvae, crabs, slugs, dead birds, and fungi; individual animals do appear to be opportunistic carnivores. Like other herbivorous lizards, the rock iguanas are presented with a special problem for osmoregulation: plant matter contains more potassium and has less nutritional content per gram than meat so more must be eaten to meet the lizard's metabolic needs. Unlike mammals, reptile kidneys cannot concentrate urine to save on water intake. Instead reptiles excrete toxic nitrogenous wastes as solid uric acid through their cloaca. In the case of the rock iguana which consumes large amounts of vegetation, these excess salt ions are excreted through their salt gland in the same manner as birds. The record for the longest lived captive-born rock iguana is held by a Lesser Caymans iguana, which lived for 33 years in captivity. A blue iguana captured on Grand Cayman in 1950 by naturalist Ira Thompson was imported to the United States in 1985 by Ramon Noegel and sold to reptile importer and breeder, Tom Crutchfield. Crutchfield loaned Godzilla to the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas in 1997. The lizard was named Godzilla by the zoo staff and was kept until his death in 2004. Thompson estimated the iguana to be 15 years of age at the time of its capture. This lizard may have been the word's longest-living recorded lizard at 69 years of age, having spent 54 years in captivity. All speciesof Cyclura are sexually dimorphic; males are larger than females, and have more prominent dorsal crests as well as larger femoral pores on their thighs, which are used to release pheromones. Although the particulars vary slightly among species and subspecies, the rock iguanas reach sexual maturity at three to seven years of age. Females become sexually mature at two to five years of age. Males can be highly territorial with the notable exception of the Exuma Island iguana. Mating takes place at the beginning of or just prior to the first rainy season of the year (May to June) and lasts for two to three weeks. Females lay from 2 to 34 eggs, with an average clutch size of 17 within 40 days. Females of most species guard their nests for several days after laying their eggs, and incubation lasts approximately 85 days. It has been noted that Cyclura eggs are among the largest lizard eggs produced in the world. Every species and subspecies of rock iguana is endangered. Nine of these taxa are Critically Endangered, meaning there are fewer than 250 of each species or subspecies left in wild populations and in danger of Extinction, four taxa are endangered and three species have been identified as Vulnerable, one species is believed to be extinct in the wild. In addition to small numbers typical of endemic island-dwelling animals, wild populations of these lizards are directly and indirectly impacted by land development, overgrazing by domestic and feral livestock and predation by humans and feral mammals such as hogs, cats, rats, dogs, and mongooses. In 1990, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) designated the genus Cyclura as their highest priority. Their first project was a captive breeding program for the Grand Cayman iguana, which at the time was the most critically endangered of all the species of Cyclura. The Indianapolis Zoo is involved in research and conservation of all 16 taxa of West Indian iguanas. This includes collaborative work on establishing baseline biological values in captive and wild iguanas, and scientific investigation, conservation efforts, field research and captive breeding programs. The Indianapolis Zoo has been involved in the Dominican Republic for almost ten years and will continue its research and conservation efforts with the Ricord's iguana. The project's goals are:
The blue iguana or Grand Cayman iguana (Cyclura lewisi) is an endangered species of lizard of the genus Cyclura endemic to the island of Grand Cayman. Previously listed as a subspecies of the Cuban iguana, it was reclassified as a separate species in 2004 because of genetic differences discovered four years earlier. The blue iguana is one of the longest-living species of lizard (possibly up to 69 years). The record is 67 years. The blue iguana prefers dwelling in rocky, sunlit, open areas in dry forests or near the shore, as the females must dig holes in the sand to lay eggs in June and July. A possible second clutch is laid in September. The blue iguana's vegetarian diet includes plants, fruits, and flowers. Its coloration is tan to gray with a bluish cast that is more pronounced during the breeding season and more so in males. It is large and heavy-bodied with a dorsal crest of short spines running from the base of the neck to the end of the tail. The fossil record indicates that the blue iguana was abundant before European colonization; but fewer than 15 animals remained in the wild by 2003, and this wild population was predicted to become extinct within the first decade of the 21st century. The species' decline is mainly being driven by predation by feral pets (cats and dogs) and indirectly by the destruction of their natural habitat as fruit farms are converted to pasture for cattle grazing. Since 2004, hundreds of captive-bred animals have been released into a preserve on Grand Cayman run by a partnership headed by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in an attempt to save the species. At least five non-profit organizations are working with the government of the Cayman Islands to ensure the survival of the blue iguana. The blue iguana (Cyclura lewisi) is endemic to the island of Grand Cayman. Its generic name (Cyclura) is derived from the Ancient Greek words cyclos (κύκλος) meaning "circular" and ourá (οὐρά) meaning "tail", after the thick-ringed tail characteristic of all Cyclura. Its specific name is a Latinized form of the name of the scientist who first described this species, Bernard C. Lewis. Its closest relatives are the Cuban iguana (Cyclura nubila) and the Northern Bahamian rock iguana (Cyclura cychlura), the three species having diverged from a common ancestor some three million years ago. The species has a low genetic diversity but does not seem to suffer the same lack of vitality that afflicts other such species of rock iguana. One theory is that the species evolved from a single female Cuban iguana (C. nubila nubila) with eggs inside her who drifted across the sea, perhaps during a storm. It is distinct from the subspecies found on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac known as C. nubila caymanensis, although it can breed with this subspecies and produce fertile offspring. In 1938, Bernard C. Lewis of the Institute of Jamaica joined an Oxford University biological expedition to the Cayman Islands. Lewis was able to obtain two blue iguanas, a male and a female, which were later lodged with the British Museum of Natural History. Chapman Grant, in a monograph published in 1940, formally described the blue iguana for the first time as Cyclura macleayi lewisi. Schwartz and Carey established the trinomial (Cyclura nubila lewisi) in 1977. They held that the blue iguana was a strongly distinct subspecies of the Cuban iguana (C. nubila), the species which it evolved from and can breed with. They emphasized its overall bright blue coloration, and noted that further study could reveal it to be a distinct species. Frederick Burton reclassified the blue iguana as a distinct species in 2004, after years of research comparing scale counts on the heads of Caribbean iguanas, including those found on Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Cuba, and the Bahamas, as well as mitochondrial DNA analysis performed by Dr. Catherine Malone, to re-examine the phylogeography of the different species. The blue iguana is the largest native land animal on Grand Cayman with a total nose-to-tail length of 5 ft (1.5 m) and weighing as much as 30 lb (14 kg). It may be the heaviest species of iguana and most massive lizard in the Western Hemisphere. Its body length is 20–30 inches (51–76 cm) with a tail equal in length. The blue iguana's toes are articulated to be efficient in digging and climbing trees. Although not known to be arboreal, the blue iguana has been observed climbing trees 15 feet (4.6 m) and higher. The male is larger than the female by one third of his body size. The mature male's skin color ranges from dark grey to turquoise blue, whereas the female is more olive green to pale blue. Young animals tend to be uniformly dark brown or green with faint darker banding. When they first emerge from the nest the neonates have an intricate pattern of eight dark dorsal chevrons from the crest of their necks to their pelvic area. These markings fade by the time the animal is one year old, changing to mottled gray and cream and eventually giving way to blue as adults. The adult blue iguana is typically dark gray matching the karst rock of its landscape. The animal changes its color to blue when it is in the presence of other iguanas to signal and establish territory. The blue color is more pronounced in males of the species. Their distinctive black feet stand in contrast to their lighter overall body color. Blue iguanas are sexually dimorphic; males are larger and have more prominent dorsal crests as well as larger femoral pores on their thighs, which are used to release pheromones. The blue iguana's eyes have a golden iris and red sclera. They have excellent vision, which allows them to detect shapes and motions at long distances. As blue iguanas have only a few rod cells, they have poor vision in low-light conditions. At the same time, they have cells called "double cones" which give them sharp color vision and enable them to see ultraviolet wavelengths. This ability is useful when basking so the animal can ensure that it absorbs enough sunlight in the forms of UVA and UVB to produce vitamin D. Blue iguanas have evolved a white photosensory organ on the top of their heads called the parietal eye (also known as the third eye, pineal eye or pineal gland). This "eye" does not work the same way as a normal eye as it has only a rudimentary retina and lens and thus, cannot form images. It is however sensitive to changes in light and dark and can detect movement. The blue iguana is found only on the island of Grand Cayman. Comparison with other Cyclura species in the region strongly suggests that there was once a coastal population of blue iguanas which was gradually displaced or extirpated by human settlements and the construction of roads.The blue iguana now only occurs inland in natural xerophytic shrubland and along the interfaces between farm clearings, roads, and gardens and closed-canopy dry forest or shrubland.The interior population is believed to have been attracted to agricultural clearings and fruit farms which provide thermoregulatory opportunities, herbaceous browse, fallen fruit, and nesting soil, but this also brought the blue iguana into contact with humans and feral animals. Females often migrate to coastal areas to nest. Blue iguanas released into the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park on Grand Cayman were radiotracked in 2004 to determine ranges for each animal. Females were found to occupy territories of 0.6 acres (2,400 m2) and males an average of 1.4 acres (5,700 m2) with overlap in common territories, indicating that they choose to maintain a population density of four to five animals per hectare.The blue iguanas occupy rock holes and tree cavities, and as adults are primarily terrestrial. Younger individuals tend to be more arboreal.Hatchlings are preyed upon by the native snake Alsophis cantherigerus.The adults have no natural predators but can fall victim to feral dogs.They typically reach sexual maturity at three to four years of age. Like all Cyclura species, the blue iguana is primarily herbivorous, consuming leaves, flowers, and fruits from over 45 species of plant. This diet is very rarely supplemented with insect larvae, crabs, slugs, dead birds, and fungi. The iguanas are presented with a special problem for osmoregulation: plant matter contains more potassium and as it has less nutritional content per gram, more must be eaten to meet the lizard's metabolic needs. As they are not capable of creating urine more concentrated than their bodily fluids, they excrete nitrogenous wastes as uric acid salts through a salt gland in the same manner as birds. As a result, they have developed this lateral nasal gland to supplement renal salt secretion by expelling excess potassium and sodium chloride. Longevity in the wild is unknown but is presumed to be many decades. A blue iguana named "Godzilla" captured on Grand Cayman in 1950 by naturalist Ira Thompson was imported to the United States in 1985 by Ramon Noegel and sold to reptile importer and breeder, Tom Crutchfield in 1990. Crutchfield donated Godzilla to the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas in 1997 and the lizard remained there until its death in 2004. Thompson estimated Godzilla to be 15 years of age at the time of his capture. At an estimated 69 years of age (54 of which were spent in captivity), Godzilla may be the world's longest-living lizard for which there is reliable record. A closely related Lesser Caymans iguana (C. nubila caymanensis) has been documented as living 33 years in captivity. Mating occurs from May through June. Copulation is preceded by numerous head-bobs on the part of the male, who then circles around behind the female and grasps the nape of her neck. He then attempts to restrain the female in order to maneuver his tail under hers to position himself for intromission. Copulation generally lasts from 30 to 90 seconds, and a pair is rarely observed mating more than once or twice a day. A clutch of anywhere from 1 to 21 eggs are usually laid in June or July depending on the size and age of the female, in nests excavated in pockets of earth exposed to the sun. Several exploratory nests are begun before one is completed. These burrows can range from 16 inches (0.41 m) to over 60 inches (1.5 m) in length, with an enlarged chamber at its terminal portion to allow the female to turn around. The temperature within nests that have been monitored by researchers remained a constant throughout the incubation period which ranges from 65–90 days. The blue iguana's eggs are among the largest laid by any lizard. Individuals are aggressively territorial from the age of about three months onward. Females occupy overlapping areas of the order of 0.6 acres (2,400 m2) seemingly regardless of age, while males occupy progressively larger and more extensively overlapping territories as they age and grow. The blue iguana is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. The population is restricted to the eastern interior of Grand Cayman, where it had been reduced to a critically low level, only three animals having been observed before the survey in 1988. The range of the blue iguana has contracted significantly over the past 25 years, with many sites once populated now showing no signs of iguanas. Surveys in 2003 indicated a total population in the range of 5–15 individuals. By 2005 the unmanaged wild population was considered to be functionally extinct. The species is one of the most endangered animals on Earth. A further blow to the dwindling population came in May 2008 when six individuals were found butchered in a nature preserve. As the blue iguana consumes a variety of plant material, favoring fruits and flowers over leaves and stems when available, it is valuable on Grand Cayman as a seed disperser throughout its range. A study in 2000 by Dr Allison Alberts revealed that seeds passing through the digestive tracts of Cycluras germinate more rapidly than those that do not. These seeds in the fruits consumed by the blue iguana have an adaptive advantage by sprouting before the end of very short rainy seasons. The blue iguana is also an important means of distributing seeds to new areas and, as the largest native herbivore of Grand Cayman's ecosystems, it is essential for maintaining the delicate balance between climate and vegetation necessary to survive under harsh conditions. Restored free-roaming subpopulations in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and the Salina Reserve numbered approximately 125 individuals in total after an initial release in December 2005. The restored subpopulation in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park has been breeding since 2001, and the subpopulation in the Salina Reserve was deemed to be breeding in 2006 after a nest of three hatched eggs was discovered in the wild. As of April 2007, after another large-scale release, there were 299 blue iguanas living in the wild, with hundreds more being raised in captivity on Grand Cayman. In late 2012, the blue iguana Recovery Program estimated that the wild population had risen to approximately 750 individuals, and the IUCN subsequently downlisted the species from critically endangered to endangered. —Chapman Grant, The Herpetology of the Cayman Islands Habitat destruction is the main factor threatening imminent extinction for this iguana. Land clearance within remnant habitat is occurring for agriculture, road construction, and real estate development and speculation. Conversion of traditional crop lands to cattle pasture is also eliminating secondary blue iguana habitat. Predation and injury to hatchlings by rats, to hatchlings and sub-adults by feral cats, and killing of adults by roaming dogs are all placing severe pressure on the remaining wild population. Automobiles and motorscooters are an increasing cause of mortality as the iguanas rarely survive the collisions. Trapping and shooting is a comparatively minor concern, but occasional trapping continues despite legal protection and sustained efforts to increase public awareness. The common Green Iguana, (Iguana iguana), has been introduced from Honduras and is well-established on Grand Cayman as an invasive species. It far outnumbers the endemic blue iguana. No direct negative consequences of this introduction on the blue iguana are known, but the mere presence of the Green Iguana confuses public attitudes and understanding. For example, the people of the island are told that blue iguanas are endangered and rare, and when they subsequently see large numbers of the introduced Green Iguana, they do not understand the difference. Blue iguanas used to regularly be sold to tourists as pets, as their rarity made them appealing to exotic-animal collectors, despite this being illegal under the CITES treaty. In 1999 a World Wildlife Fund international conservation officer, Stuart Chapman, said, "The British government has turned a blind eye for over 20 years to these overseas territories which are home to many rare and endangered species. Many of these face extinction if Britain fails to honour its treaty obligations. The British Caribbean islands are extremely rich in biodiversity with many critically endangered species that are unique to the islands—yet there is virtually zero enforcement or implementation of CITES." In May 2008, six blue iguanas were found dead in the preserve within Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park on Grand Cayman. The iguanas were apparently killed by human vandals armed with knives and two of the slaughtered animals were gravid females about to lay eggs. The wild population of blue iguanas had been reduced from a near island-wide distribution to a non-viable, fragmented remnant. By 2001, no young hatched in the unmanaged wild population were surviving to breeding age, meaning the population was functionally extinct, with only five animals remaining in the wild. In 1990 the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) designated the genus Cyclura as their highest priority for conservation. Their first project was an in situ captive breeding program for the blue iguana, which at the time was the most critically endangered of all the species of Cyclura. One of the early difficulties encountered was that the captive stock of the early 1990s was found not to be pure. It was discovered through DNA analysis that the captive population contained a number of animals that were hybrids with C. nubila caymanensis. The program contains only pure specimens, as these hybrids were sterilized by means of hemipenectomies and hence excluded. This program was created to determine the exact genealogies of the limited gene pool of the remaining animals and DNA analysis revealed that the entire North American captive population was descended from a single pair of animals. After five years of research two captive breeding populations were established and are managed as a single unit, with cross-breeding between the populations to promote genetic diversity. As a hedge against disaster striking the blue iguana population on Grand Cayman, an off-island captive population was established in 25 zoos in the USA. A minimum of 20 founder lines represented by at least 225 individuals is being maintained by captive breeding and recorded in a studbook for the species by Tandora Grant of the San Diego Zoo's Center for Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES). The Indianapolis Zoo has had success with breeding the blue iguana in captivity twice since the year 2000. In October 2006, hatchlings were released into the wild for the first time to boost the species and help bring them back from the brink of extinction. Each released blue iguana wears a string of colored beads through its nuchal crest for visual identification at a distance, backed up by an implanted microchip and a high-resolution photograph of its head scales. (Head scale patterns are as unique among blue iguanas as fingerprints are among humans.) The blue iguana is established in captivity, both in public and private collections. As there are very few pure-bred animals in private collections, private individuals have established these animals in captive breeding programs as hybrids with the Lesser Caymans Iguana (C.nubila caymanensis) and occasional hybrids with the Cuban Iguana (C.n.nubila) minimizing the demand for wild-caught specimens for the pet trade. The Blue Iguana Recovery Programme grew from a small project started within the National Trust for the Cayman Islands in 1990. It is now a partnership, linking the Trust with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, National Trust Cayman Islands, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, International Reptile Conservation Foundation, IRCF, and the European Commission. This program operates under a special exemption from provisions in the Animals Law of the Cayman Islands which normally would make it illegal for anyone to kill, capture, or keep iguanas. BIRP's conservation strategy involves generating large numbers of genetically diverse hatchlings, head-starting them for two years where their chance of survival in the wild is high, and using these animals to rebuild a series of wild sub-populations in protected, managed natural areas. This is accompanied by field research, nest site protection, and monitoring of the released animals. A rapid numerical increase from a maximum possible number of founding stock is sought to minimize loss of genetic diversity caused by the "population bottleneck". Restored sub-populations are already present in two non-contiguous areas—the Salina Reserve and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. Habitat protection is still vital, as the Salina Reserve has only 88 acres (360,000 m2) of dry shrubland, which is not enough to sustain the 1,000 blue iguanas that must be restored to the wild to remove this species from the Critically Endangered List. Additional separate sub-populations will be restored in one or more other areas. The overall captive population is likely to remain genetically fragmented in the long term. Individuals will be translocated between sub-populations to maintain gene flow so that the entire population remains a single genetic management unit. When the wild sub-populations have reached the carrying capacity of their respective protected areas, release of head-started animals will be phased out, and they will be left to reproduce naturally. In addition, guided by research and monitoring, control or eradication of non-native predators will be implemented to the degree necessary to allow young blue iguanas to survive to maturity in sufficient numbers to maintain these sub-populations. Maintenance of blue iguanas in the wild requires active management into the indefinite future. To sustain this activity, a range of commercial activities generates the funding required, while an ongoing education and awareness effort ensures continued involvement and support by the local community.
The Galapagos land iguana (Conolophus subcristatus) is a species of lizard in the family Iguanidae. It is one of three species of the genus Conolophus. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, primarily the islands of Fernandina, Isabela, Santa Cruz, North Seymour, Baltra, and South Plaza. The Galapagos land iguana varies in morphology and coloration among different island populations. There are two taxonomically distinct forms of Conolophus inhabiting the western part of the islands (C. rosada and C. pallidus) and one in the central part (C. subcristatus). Its generic name, Conolophus, is derived from two Greek words: conos (κώνος) meaning "spiny" and lophos (λοφος) meaning "crest" or "plume", denoting the spiny crests along their backs. Its specific name subcristatus is derived from the Latin words sub meaning "lesser" and cristatus meaning "crested," and refers to the low crest of spines along the animal's back which is not as tall as in most iguanids. Charles Darwin described the Galapagos land iguana as "ugly animals, of a yellowish orange beneath, and of a brownish-red colour above: from their low facial angle they have a singularly stupid appearance." The Galapagos land iguana grows to a length of three to five feet with a body weight of up to twenty-five pounds, depending upon which island they are from. Being cold-blooded, they absorb heat from the sun by basking on volcanic rock, and at night sleep in burrows to conserve their body heat. These iguanas also enjoy a symbiotic relationship with birds; the birds remove parasites and ticks, providing relief to the iguanas and food for the birds. Land iguanas are primarily herbivorous; however, some individuals have shown that they are opportunistic carnivores supplementing their diet with insects, centipedes and carrion. Because fresh water is scarce on the islands it inhabits, the Galapagos land iguana obtains the majority of its moisture from the prickly-pear cactus that makes up 80% of its diet: fruit, flowers, pads, and even spines. During the rainy season it will drink from available standing pools of water and feast on yellow flowers of the genus Portulaca. It is estimated that the Galapagos land iguana has a 50 to 60-year lifespan. Galapagos land iguanas become sexually mature anywhere between eight and fifteen years of age, depending on which island they are from. Mating season also varies between islands, but soon after mating, the females migrate to sandy areas to nest, laying 2–25 eggs in a burrow 18 inches deep. The eggs hatch anywhere from 90 to 125 days later. On South Plaza Island, where the territories of marine iguanas and land iguanas overlap, the two sometimes interbreed, resulting in a mixture of features from each species; resulting in what is known as a hybrid iguana. The most likely unions tend to be between male marine iguanas and female land iguanas. Despite their long separation time and their being two distinct species from different genera, the offspring are viable, although likely sterile. It is estimated that between 5,000 and 10,000 land iguanas are found in the Galapagos. These iguanas were so abundant on Santiago Island at one time that naturalist Charles Darwin remarked when it was called King James Island that "...when we were left at James, we could not for some time find a spot free from their burrows on which to pitch our single tent". In the years since then, entire populations (including all the animals on Santiago Island) have been wiped out by introduced feral animals such as pigs, rats, cats, and dogs. It has been suggested that a pink morph of the Galapagos population is actually a genetically distinct subpopulation. This would warrant a separate species designation for the pink subpopulation. Subsequent genetic analysis of the pink morphs have suggested that the subpopulation split off from the main C. subcristatus one at least five million years ago. Beginning in the early 1990s the Galapagos land iguana has been the subject of an active reintroduction campaign on Baltra Island. These animals became extinct on Baltra by 1954, allegedly wiped out by soldiers stationed there who shot the iguanas for amusement. However, in the early 1930s, William Randolph Hearst had translocated a population of land iguanas from Baltra to North Seymour Island, a smaller island just a few hundred metres north of Baltra because he could not understand why no iguanas were present there. Hearst's translocated iguanas survived, and became the breeding stock for the Charles Darwin Research Station captive breeding program which has successfully reintroduced the species to Baltra and a number of other areas. Visitors today frequently see iguanas on both the runway of the Baltra airport or while they cross the road.
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. In addition to the two species in the genus Iguana, several other related genera in the same family have common names of the species including the word "iguana". Iguana can range from 4ft. to 6ft. including their tail. The two species of lizard within the genus Iguana possess a dewlap, a row of spines running down their backs to their tails, and a third "eye" on their heads. This eye is known as the parietal eye, visible as a pale scale on the top of the head. Behind their necks are small scales which resemble spokes, known as tuberculate scales. These scales may be a variety of colors and are not always visible from close distances. They have a large round scale on their cheeks known as a subtympanic shield. Iguanas have excellent vision and can see shapes, shadows, colors, and movement at long distances. Iguanas use their eyes to navigate through crowded forests, as well as for finding food. They use visual signals to communicate with other members of the same species. The tympanum, the iguana's ear drum, is located above the subtympanic shield and behind the eye. Iguanas are often hard to spot, as they tend to blend into their surroundings. Their scale colors are a mode of hiding from larger predators. Male iguanas, as well as other male members of the order Squamata, have three hemipenes. The iguana is a reptile. Green iguana at St. Thomas Green iguana Iguana iguana from the island of St. Thomas Another green iguana (Iguana iguana) A Lesser Antillean iguana in the wild in Dominica Cayman iguana An iguana at La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Mexico, at an environmental reserve An iguana at Butterfly World, Stellenbosch, Western Cape Province, South Africa
Triturus (Cynops) pyrrhogaster ensicaudus (Nakamura and Ueno, 1963) Triturus ensicauda (Sato, 1943) Triturus ensicaudus ensicaudus (Inger, 1947) Triturus ensicaudus popei (Inger, 1947) Triturus ensicaudus (Dunn, 1918) Triturus pyrrhogaster ensicaudus (Kawamura, 1950) The sword-tail newt (Cynops ensicauda) has recently been placed on Japan's Red List of Threatened Amphibians. This newt has a very small range and can only be found in some of the southernmost islands of Japan. Sometimes, sword-tail newts are called fire-bellied newts, not to be confused with the common Chinese and Japanese species, because of their bright orange bellies, which serve as a warning to predators that they are poisonous. They can be differentiated from these two species by their large size, broader heads and (against Japanese fire-bellies) smoother skin. This newt ranges from brown to black above, occasionally with an orange dorsal stripe. Some individuals may have light spotting or speckling on their backs. Sword-tailed newts grow from 12 - 18 cm (5 - 7 in) and are considered to be the largest living members of their genus. . Females and males look significantly different in appearance. Females have much longer tails that are actually longer than the rest of their bodies. Males’ tails are much shorter and sometimes display a whitish sheen during breeding season. The sword-tailed newt is only found on the Ryukyu Archipelago, an island chain of the southern coast of Japan, as well as on many smaller surrounding islands. This newt's habitat is slow, cool, stagnant bodies of water. They are commonly found in man-made structures such as rice paddies, road-side ditches, and cattle waterholes. The two known subspecies of sword-tailed newt are C. e. ensicauda and C. e. popei. Due to the subtropical climate of its native habitat, it is more tolerant of high temperatures than other Cynops. The sword-tailed newt has no predators, so deforestation and land development are the main reasons for their endangerment. Breeding places are being frequented by only a fourth of the population that was breeding 14 years ago. This lack of breeding is another key reason for them becoming endangered. Many of their breeding places are in roadside ditches and gutters, which can lead to them being run over. Sword-tail newts are extremely territorial, thus making moving their breeding places difficult.
7 ssp.; see text 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. Listed alphabetically. A. c. albemarlensis A. c. cristatus A. c. hassi A. c. mertensi A. c. nanus On his visit to the islands, Charles Darwin was revolted by the animals' appearance, writing: Amblyrhynchus cristatus is not always black; the young have a lighter coloured dorsal stripe, and some adult specimens are grey, and adult males vary in colour with the season. Dark tones allow the lizards to rapidly absorb heat to minimize the period of lethargy after emerging from the water. Breeding-season adult males on the southern islands (Española, Floreana and nearby islets) are the most colourful and will acquire red and teal-green colours, while on Santa Cruz they are brick red and black, and on Fernandina they are brick red and dull greenish. Another difference between the iguanas is size, which is different depending on the island the individual iguana inhabits. The iguanas living on the islands of Fernandina and Isabela (named for the famous rulers of Spain) are the largest found anywhere in the Galápagos. On the other end of the spectrum, the smallest iguanas are found on the island on Genovesa. Adult males are up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) long, females 0.6–1 metre (2.0–3.3 ft), males weigh up to 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb). The marine iguana lacks agility on land but is a graceful swimmer. Its laterally flattened tail and spiky dorsal fins aid in propulsion, while its long, sharp claws allow it to hold onto rocks in strong currents. Its diet consists of seaweed and algae. A flat snout and sharp teeth enable it to browse on algae growing on rocks. A nasal gland filters its blood for excess salt ingested while eating, which is expelled through the nostrils, often leaving white patches of salt on its face. As an ectothermic animal, the marine iguana can spend only a limited time in cold water diving for algae. Afterwards it basks in the sun to warm up. Until it can do so it is unable to move effectively, making it vulnerable to predation. Marine iguanas become highly defensive when in this state, biting at potential threats. During the breeding season males assemble large harems of females, which they guard aggressively against rivals. Marine iguanas have been found to change their size to adapt to varying food conditions. During an El Niño cycle in which food diminished for two years, some were found to decrease their length by as much as 20%. When food supply returned to normal, iguana size followed suit. It is speculated that the bones of the iguanas actually shorten as shrinkage of connective tissue could only account for a 10% change in length. Research suggests iguanas secrete a stress hormone that induces decreased skeletal size. El Niño conditions also increase mortality among larger-bodied iguanas, which take longer after foraging trips to warm up and digest algae consumed than smaller-bodied iguanas. Thus the latter are able to make more feeding excursions in a given day. Researchers theorize that land iguanas and marine iguanas evolved from a common ancestor since arriving on the islands from South America, presumably by rafting. It is thought that the ancestral species inhabited a part of the volcanic archipelago that is now submerged. The two species remain mutually fertile, and occasionally hybridize where their ranges overlap. Its generic name, Amblyrhynchus, is a combination of two Greek words, Ambly- from Amblus (ἀμβλυ) meaning "blunt" and rhynchus (ρυγχος) meaning "snout". Its specific name is the Latin word cristatus meaning "crested," and refers to the low crest of spines along the animal's back. Amblyrhynchus is a monotypic genus, having only one species, Amblyrhynchus cristatus. The marine iguana is completely protected under the laws of Ecuador, and is listed under CITES Appendix II. Decreases in food supply due to El Niño cause periodic major declines in population. The species is threatened by predation by introduced species such as cats and dogs, which prey particularly upon its young. The total population size is unknown, but is, according to IUCN, at least 50,000, and estimates from the Charles Darwin Research Station are in the hundreds of thousands. A colourful adult male iguana. Marine iguanas, Galápagos Islands Marine iguanas, Galápagos Islands Marine iguanas, Fernandina, Galápagos Islands Marine iguana, Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos Highly colored individual of the venustissimus subspecies found on Española Island
Seasonal breeders are animal species that successfully mate only during certain times of the year. These times of year allow for the births at a time optimal for the survival of the young in terms of factors such as ambient temperature, food and water availability, and even changes in the predation behaviors of other species. Related sexual interest and behaviors are expressed and accepted only during this period. Female seasonal breeders will have one or more estrus cycles only when she is "in season" or fertile and receptive to mating. At other times of the year, they will be anestrus. Unlike reproductive cyclicity, seasonality is described in both males and females. Male seasonal breeders may exhibit changes in testosterone levels, testes weight, and fertility depending on the time of year. Seasonal breeders are distinct from opportunistic breeders, which mate whenever the conditions of their environment become favorable, and continuous breeders like humans that mate year-round. The breeding season is the most suitable season, usually with favourable conditions and abundant food and water, for breeding. Abiotic factors such as the timing of seasonal rains and winds can also play an important role in breeding onset and success. Many species breed in colonies or large communities which is known as communal breeding. It is common to see large congregations of these species in particular favourable locations in their breeding seasons. These breeding colonies and their location are generally protected by wildlife conservation laws to keep the species from going extinct. Some species have evolved for communal breeding in large breeding colonies and can not breed in smaller numbers or pairs alone. These species can be threatened by imminent extinction if they are hunted on their breeding grounds or if their breeding colonies are destroyed. The Passenger pigeon is a famous example of probably the most numerous land bird on the American continent which had evolved for communal breeding that went extinct due to large scale hunting in its communal breeding grounds during the breeding season and its inability to breed in smaller numbers. The hypothalamus is considered to be the central control for reproduction. Hence, factors that determine when a seasonal breeder will be ready for mating affect this tissue. This is achieved specifically through changes in the production of the hormone GnRH. GnRH in turn transits to the pituitary where it promotes the secretion of the gonadotropins LH and FSH, both pituitary hormones critical for reproductive function and behavior, into the bloodstream. Changes in gonadotropin secretion initiate the end of anestrus in females. When a seasonal breeder is ready for mating is strongly regulated by length of day (photoperiod) and thus season. Photoperiod likely affects the seasonal breeder through changes in melatonin secretion by the pineal gland that ultimately alter GnRH release by the hypothalamus. Hence, seasonal breeders can be divided into groups based on when they are fertile. "Long day" breeders cycle when days get longer (spring) and are in anestrus in fall and winter. "Short day" breeders cycle when the length of daylight shortens (fall) and are in anestrus in spring and summer. The decreased light during the fall decreases the firing of the retinal nerves, in turn decreasing the excitation of the superior cervical ganglion, which then decreases the inhibition of the pineal gland, finally resulting in an increase in melatonin. This increase in melatonin results in an increase in GnRH and subsequently an increase in the hormones LH and FSH, which stimulate cyclicity. Day length variations with latitude can also impact breeding. For instance, sheep and goats in tropical climes may breed throughout the year while those in more polar arctic areas may have a shortened season. Females are generally more sensitive to changes in day length. For instance, unlike mares, stallions remain fertile year-round, suffering only some declines in sexual behavior and sperm production out of season. Other factors that affect breeding time include the presence of a ready and available mate. For instance, the presence of a fertile male will induce an estrus cycle in a doe shortly after introduction. Further environmental factors can include nutrition, chemosensory and hormonal cues. Weight and age are other factors. Many non-mammals are seasonal breeders, such as many birds and fish. Here is partially listed those that are mammals.
Iguana

7 ssp.; see text

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 Hispaniolan ground iguana, Ricord's ground iguana, Ricord's rock iguana, or Ricord's iguana (Cyclura ricordi) is a critically endangered species of rock iguana. It is found on the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and is the only known species of rock iguana to coexist with the rhinoceros iguana (Cyclura cornuta). Its natural habitat is dry savanna within three subpopulations in the southwestern Dominican Republic. It is threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural encroachment.

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 iguanas. Its specific name is a Latinized form of French Biologist, Alexandre Ricord's last name; Ricord first wrote of the species in 1826.

Squamata Iguanidae

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The green iguana or common iguana (Iguana iguana) is a large, arboreal, mostly herbivorous species of lizard of the genus Iguana native to Central, South America, and the Caribbean. Usually, this animal is simply called the iguana. The green iguana ranges over a large geographic area, from southern Brazil and Paraguay as far north as Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. They are very common throughout Puerto Rico, where they are collaquially known as "Gallina de palo" and considered as an invasive species introduced from South America; in the United States feral populations exist in South Florida (including the Florida Keys), Hawaii, and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.

Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.

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