Iguana vs Chameleon (Chameleon Lifespan)

iguana vs Chameleon

Iguana and chameleon are types of reptiles. These two reptiles are distant relatives with many unique features that can help identify these two groups of animals. The primary difference between iguanas and chameleons is that iguanas are herbivorous while the chameleons are carnivorous. Let us discuss the difference between iguana and chameleon and compare them. 

What Does an Iguana Look Like?

Iguanas are types of reptiles with strong jaws with razor-sharp teeth and sharp tails, making up half the body length and can be used as whips to drive off predators. Different species of iguanas look and act differently and have their unique adaptation. The marine iguana of the Galapagos Islands is an excellent swimmer, and its black coloration helps it warm its body after swimming in the cold ocean. At the same time, the green iguana is at home high in the trees of a tropical rainforest. 

Where Do Iguanas Live?      

Different iguana species prefers to live in different habitats. However, the population of iguanas can be seen in Mexico, Central and South America, the Galapagos Islands, the Caribbean islands, the Fiji Islands, and Madagascar. 

How Many Species of Iguanas are There?

Following are the types of iguanas-

  • Lesser Antillean iguana
  • Green iguana
  • Southern Antillean iguana
  • Saban black iguana
  • Central American iguana

What is The Size of the Iguana?

The longest iguana is the green iguana that grows between 5 and 7 feet long nose to tail. The heaviest iguana is the blue iguana that can weigh up to 30 pounds. However, the smallest is the spiny-tailed iguana that measures from 4.9 to 3.9 long. 

What do Iguanas Eat?

Iguanas are mainly herbivorous; they feed on various plants. Specifically, they are an animal that feeds on leaves. In the wild, they eat leaves of trees and vines, some fruits and flowers. However, the marine iguana of the Galapagos Islands dives in the ocean to grind algae from rocks. 

Iguana Reproduction: 

The female of these species lays eggs in a hole, which they dig in the ground known as a burrow. Sometimes, they uncover more burrows than to confuse animals that may want to prey on their eggs. The temperature in the den remains constant from 77 to 89 degrees F. After laying the eggs, the female never returns to the hole. The warm heat of the hole incubates the eggs, and they get hatched by themselves, and the young iguanas grow up without their parents. 

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Facts About Iguanas:

  • The word iguana is originated from the original Taino name for the specie, Iwana.
  • Iguanas can detach their tails when threatened and will grow another without any damage. 
  • They usually prefer to live alone.
  • The natural predators of iguanas are considered hawks, owls, foxes, weasels, snakes, and humans.
  • In Central America, iguana meat is consumed and is referred to as ‘bamboo chicken’ or ‘chicken of the trees.’
  • Green iguanas have bred and raised on farms in Central and South American. 
  • These creatures are very independent, curious, and sometimes aggressive.
  • Iguanas are great swimmers and live near water. If threatened, they will often leap from a branch from great heights and escape with a splash to the water below.
  • Most of the male iguanas are territorial and fight with other males for their territory.
  • Though, the marine iguanas are an exception that sleeps and sunbathes in large groups without any conflict.
  • Green iguanas have a photo-sensory organ on the top of their head, often called the third eye.
  • Marine iguanas will stay submerged for a few minutes, but they have known to stay underwater for as long as 45 minutes.
  • The marine iguanas also sneeze because they even swallow saltwater while they eat. 

How Long Do Iguanas Live?

The life span of iguanas depends on different variables. However, their average life is from 4 to 60 years.

Are Iguanas Endangered?

Iguanas are the most endangered species; the threats include loss of habitat because of human settlement and harvesting by humans. They are also the most popular reptile pets. Iguanas are essential for the important as they disperse seeds for many native plants; their protection is necessary to ecosystem health. 

What Does a Chameleon Look Like? 

Chameleons are a different and highly specialized group of old world lizards. These species vary in a range of colors, and many of them can change colors. Most of the lizards have five toes, but chameleons five toes are divided into groups-on the forefoot, the two outside toes are joined to create a group. And the three inside toes to form another, the hindfoot has the opposite arrangement, which allows them to grab branches. They also use their long tail when moving in the trees to grab a branch and secure their position.   

Where Do Chameleons Live?

Chameleons live in a variety of habitat that includes rainforest, deserts, scrub savannas, and mountains. Many of the species live in trees, but others live in grass and small bushes, dry branches, and fallen leaves. The species can be found in Madagascar, Africa, Spain, Portugal, Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan. 

How Many Species of Chameleons are There?

There are around 171 species of chameleon.

What is the Size of the Chameleon?

The longest chameleon is the giant Malagasy chameleon that grows up to 23 inches long. However, the smallest chameleon is the Brookesia Micra that reaches only 0.6 inches.

What do Chameleons Eat?

Chameleons are primarily carnivores that feed on a variety of insects like grasshopper, locusts, and stick bugs. However, some larger chameleons may also feed on birds and lizards. These species do not move fast to catch their prey, but they depend on their long sticky tongue to catch their prey. When a chameleon finds an insect, it quickly snaps out its tongue. When the tongue hits the insect, it forms a suction that allows them to pull the insect in the mouth. 

Chameleon Reproduction:

Most of the females lay eggs, but others like Jackson’s chameleon have a gestation period of 5 to 7 months. The female digs a hole from 4 to 12 inches and deposit her egg there. Small species of chameleon lay 2 to 4 eggs while the larger one can lay 80 to 100 eggs. Those females who bear live birth deliver 8 to 30 young chameleons. After the offspring are born, they start to hunt insects. 

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Facts About Chameleon:

  • Chameleons have the most different eyes among any reptile species. 
  • The upper and the lower eyelids are joined with a pinhole large enough for the pupil to see through.
  • The chameleon’s color-changing technique is fascinating and complicated.
  • Their skin has a layer that contains pigments, and under the sheet, there are cells with guanine crystals. 
  • The chameleon’s tongue has excellent speed. It takes 0.07 seconds to reach the prey. 
  • Their tongue can be as long as 1.5 to 2 times longer than their body length, excluding their tail.
  • Male and female chameleons do not look similar. Males have more horns or spikes.
  • The most common predators of chameleon are snakes and birds.
  • The meaning of their name chameleon is earth lion.

How Long Do Chameleons Live?

In the wild, the average lifespan of these reptiles is from 2 to 3 years, while in captivity, they can survive for 3 to 10 years.

Are Chameleons Endangered?

Chameleons are considered an endangered species. Their primary threat includes the destruction of their habitat. 

Chameleon vs Iguana: Fight Comparison

Chameleon and Iguana together cannot survive despite having the same habitat. Iguanas are considered as aggressive, and they often struggle with other male iguanas to defend their territories. However, the chameleon can change its color so it can camouflage with its surroundings and quickly escape. However, many people keep chameleon vs. Iguana as pets

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