Sunday, February 6, 2022

Look Out For Falling Iguanas In Florida

Iguana, Reptile, Zoo, Lizard, Animal

Palm Trees, Wind, Windy, Weather, Nature

As temperatures dipped into the low 40's last weekend in South Florida, hundreds of iguanas literally started falling out of trees- appearing to be dead.

Wildlife, Tropical, Nature, Iguana

However, they were not dead!  
After a little research, I learned that iguanas simply go into a "cold-stunned" dead-like state to protect themselves in cold weather where they lay dormant but are still breathing and their key bodily functions are actually working. 

Lizard, Lazy, Reptile, Iguana, Animal

I live in South Florida, and I walk in a park on the marina each morning. There is a large orange iguana that I always spot in one of the trees each day. I hadn't seen him all week and assumed he died in the frigid temperatures like many other iguanas. (At that point I hadn't done the research) However, sure enough this morning (74 degrees) he was back up in that tree. 

Lizard, Florida, Iguana, Usa, Tropical

Although not indigenous to South Florida, these large iguanas are now very common in South Florida. Initially the green iguana was native of Central and South America and the Caribbean where the weather is warmer and they are closer to the equator. 

These iguanas made their way to Florida via cargo packages in the 1960's and they have multiplied tremendously over the past 60 years. 

Green Iguana, Lizard, Reptile, Animal
A male green iguana can grow to 5 feet long and weigh as much as 17 pounds. They can run fast and will attack or bite if their territory is invaded or provoked  The green iguana usually lives on the average for about 10-15 years in the wild- but can live much longer. 

Green Iguana, Lizard, Animal, Reptile

I see some fairly large iguanas on my walks, especially in some of the older parks. However, they have never come near me. I often see them on ledges sunning themselves. They can be fierce and ugly looking. My experience has been that they ignore me or scurry away if I get too close. Now, that I know they might attack, I'll be keeping my distance.

Gad, Lizard, Iguana, Animals, Nature

Iguanas are vegans. They eat mostly leaves and plants. 


  1. Well, this title certainly caught my attention! This iguana behavior is fascinating, and the pictures are gorgeous. I'm with you; steer clear of these crafty critters! :)

    1. Yes, Florida has opened our eyes about iguanas! Who knew???

  2. :) Learned something new today by reading your post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I saw an article about the frozen iguanas too. Good to stay away from them!

    1. Yes, I will be more careful and cautious in the future

  4. Good gravy, Marie! I would have been out of my mind!!!

    1. Yes, it is not a pretty sight but its good to know they are in hiberation

  5. Wow, stunning photos & good info about iguanas. Have never seen them live.

  6. I think this part of Florida doesn't get that cold, because I've never seeing iguanas falling from trees. :)

    1. Nil,
      It has happened twice in the last 10 years that we are in Florida. Twice the temps got too cold for them


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