WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – ENCHANTED FOREST PARK, FL
Photo of a feral Iguana taken in North Miami, Florida at Enchanted Forest Park. I used a Nikon D90 with a Tamron 28-300mm lens with a polarizing filter.
Full-grown iguanas are usually between four and six feet, although they have been known to grow up to seven feet long. This includes the tail, however, which can make up about half the body length. Their skin is rough, with a set of pointy scales along the iguana’s back, and have long fingers and claws to help them climb and grasp.
Besides the long fingers and claws, iguanas have many excellent interesting adaptations. Iguanas have good senses of hearing and smell, and superb vision. Their long tail is also quite sharp, and is snapped in the air as a defense mechanism. The tail can also break off if caught by a predator, but grows back without permanant damage. Iguana skin is very water resistant, and tough to avoid cuts and scratches. The coloring of the skin helps camoulflage the iguana, which means that they blend in easily to their surroundings to remain undetected by predators. If they are detected however, and need to escape quickly, these iguanas can dive from trees into water, and swim well. Iguanas are quite sturdy– they can fall 40-50 feet to the ground without getting hurt! Male iguanas have a special flap of skin called the dewlap. Male iguanas can raise their dewlap to appear bigger than they really are, either to intimidate predators, or to impressive females. Both male and female iguanas can store fat under their jaws and in their necks for times when there is not much food available.