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Common iguana (Iguana iguana).—Willis Peterson
Any of about 13 of the larger members of the lizard family Iguanidae. Best known is the common iguana (Iguana iguana), which ranges from Mexico southward to Brazil. It reaches a maximum length of 6 ft (1.8 m). It lives in trees, especially trees overhanging water, into which it will plunge if disturbed. It is greenish, with brown bands that form regular rings on the tail. It primarily eats tender leaves and fruits but will also eat small birds and crustaceans. Species of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico include the chuckwalla (Sauromalus obesus) and desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on iguana, visit Britannica.com.