How long do iguanas live?


Exotic animals tend to have very specific care due to their different natural habitat, but beyond that, how long can an iguana live?

The pets that keep us company In our homes they are no longer limited only to dogs, cats, birds, turtles or fish. Lately the repertoire of animals that can become pets has expanded and it is not surprising to find rabbits, ferrets, hedgehogs, pigs and even reptiles such as chameleons, snakes or iguanas that live with families.

Precisely the iguanas they have won a lot of popular>

How old is an iguana?

But how old is an iguana? The life expectancy of iguanas usually between 10 and 20 years provided they are well taken care of, although being a bit complicated if they are not free, it is normal to find that they don't reach that age. To get it, and before deciding if we want to take one home, we must learn a little About the nature of this animal.

Get to know the iguanas better

Green iguanas are reptiles that can get to measure 2 meters from head to tail and they can reach weigh 10 kilos. They may change the color of their skin slightly, but not as much as some lizards and chameleons, although it goes dark as they get older. The claws at the end of their short legs are used to climb, as well as its tail It helps them keep their balance.

The natural ecosystem of iguanas is very varied and includes both trees and plants and soil near rivers, the swamps And even the desert. its diet is basically herbivorous and they don't need to eat any animal protein.

Tips to increase the life expectancy of your iguana

But how do we have to take care of our iguana to last many years? How many years you live will depend on the special care that we must provide to this kind of animal.

Iguanas need to absorb lots of natural light to process its properties beneficial as UVA rays, in this way the animal will stay healthy and strong. On the other hand, they will also have to receive UVB light, necessary for reptiles to absorb calcium from food, because if they could not get a disease that is.

To facilitate this process, specialized stores sell lamps manufactured specifically for reptiles, with lights regulated according to their needs. Fluorescent tubes are a good option, but it is best to ask the store clerk to advise you better on the conditions that you will need at home when it comes to hosting to the iguana.

It's vital importance provide the temperature suitable to our iguana. Being animals originating in central and southern America they live in high temperatures, so if we place them in a cold place they can manifest strange behaviors or get sick. We have already mentioned the special lamps with respect to the light, but as it is obvious this also includes the temperature, since to a greater quantity and exposure of warmer light will be the place where we place the iguana.

The average temperature should be about 26º to about 32º and the most advisable is, at least at the beginning and until we see that the iguana has become accustomed, see how the iguana's behavior develops: yes move away from the lamp as much as possible It is because it is too hot, and if instead they spend a lot of time under it, the place should be warmer. Remember that you must place the lamp so that your iguana can't get too close and burn.

Before take your pet home make sure you have prepared well the place where you will live (the box or the fence). Even if you adopt your iguana when you are very small, don't forget that it will soon grow and that it will grow big, so you have to anticipate the right size for her. A good measure for the container where to place an adult iguana is 1.8m wide x 0.9m deep x 1.8m long. Thus you will have the care you need to move and develop. As for what you should have inside the box, remember that it is in the nature of these animals climb and climb, so if they live between branches for those who can move much better.

Adequate food will make our iguana have a longer life expectancy and live in a way healthy for years. As we have already mentioned, iguanas are vegetarian, but this does not mean that they can eat any vegetable. Vegetables they are the healthiest food for them: cabbage, peppers, beans, peas, turnips, squash, carrots, cucumbers, beets and tomatoes are the best option.

We can also prepare some fruit such as strawberry, blueberry, banana, apple and pear, but rarely since sugar can be harmful. What we should not use to feed the iguana is citrus fruit or iceberg lettuce, since it does not provide nutritional value. Besides the eggs, dairy products, meat or cat feed And dogs are prohibited. So that they eat the foods better it is convenient that we cut it into small pieces and are at a warm temperature. Make sure they always have fresh and abundant water available.

Finally yes are you thinking of having more than one iguana We recommend that you think carefully because two male iguanas cannot share a box, since they show a high level of aggressiveness between them and they can fight. If there is no other option and you finally have two iguanas under the same roof, or you will have to separate them in two different terrariums or they can stay together if they are male and female or two females

These are the five special care What you should provide to your iguana. We hope that with these tips your life expectancy will be much longer and that I get to live how many years Let your ecosystem.


One of the most recurring questions about these reptiles is closely related to their longevity. It is known that the life expectancy of iguanas, although it varies depending on the different species, is around 10 to 20 years in most known cases.

It is known that some captive iguanas have lived between 20 and 25 years on average. The existence of factors such as having access to better veterinary treatments, much more optimal care and the absence of predators in the case of captive specimens, are behind these figures.


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Generally, they are typical in the humid areas of the jungles of South America, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Normally, they are usually found in trees, which are the main place where they live.


The feeding of the iguanas consists mainly of leaves, different types of buds, abundant flowers and the fruits of fig trees.

When they are younger they also eat some types of invertebrates, and even small birds, just like mammals.

They are part of their recurring diet:

  • The green shoots of the natural environment.
  • Wild flowers.
  • The fruits of the fig tree.
  • Invertebrate animals.
  • The smallest birds.
  • Small mammals

Life expectancy of an iguana

The life expectancy of iguanas varies depending on the habitat in which they are found, food, climate, size, species, etc. As usual, iguanas usually live on average between 10 and 20 years, although there have been cases of iguanas that have exceeded 20 years of life. It is possible to determine the gender of the iguanas by examining the central part of their hind legs. Male iguanas develop many femoral pores in this part of their body that secrete essences. In addition, males are usually covered with a waxy substance. The spinal scales located along the back of male iguanas are noticeably longer and wider than those of females. Younger specimens are virtually impossible to sex.

Iguanas are diurnal and strictly herbivorous animals, feeding on leaves, flowers, buds and fruits. They are found living in trees near water, where they are thrown away if they feel threatened. They are agile climbers and fast runners despite their clumsy appearance and can fall from 12 meters without being mortally wounded, since they use the nails of their legs to hook themselves to leaves and branches in order to cushion the fall.

When a predator threatens them, the iguanas try to flee, and if they are near the water, they throw themselves away and swim away. On the other hand, if they are cornered by a predator, they deploy the double chin below the neck, tighten and swell the body and swing the head towards the aggressor. They also use head balancing and the deployment of the double chin in various forms of social interaction, such as to greet other iguanas or to celebrate a possible sexual relationship. The type, frequency, and amount of head roll has specific meanings.


Male iguanas become territorial in the rainy season usually.

When the rainy season ends, it is time to fertilize the eggs.

They usually lay between 30 to 50 eggs during the dry season. After 70 to 105 days, the young are born and they measure approximately 7.6 cm.

Mating takes place by coupling the genitals. The female iguana lifts its tail and the male while accessing it bites its neck. The intercourse can last between 10 to 45 minutes usually.

They reach sexual maturity when they are 16 months old, but they are not considered adult iguanas until at least 36 months have passed.


They are omnivorous and herbivorous animals.

One of the peculiarities that differentiate them from other reptiles, is that iguanas have a truly unique gill.

They have two spines that run down the back to the tail and have a third eye also located in the back.

On the back of the neck of these reptiles, there are scales that look like spikes and are called tubular scales.

They have a day temperature that ranges between 29º to 39º C, while at night the temperature of your body is usually reduced to 20º at 25ºC on average.

It is able to change your skin constantly. Your tail can measure the same as the rest of your body.

They are reptiles that have a lot of strength. They often use this force to defend themselves against other animals and also their predators.

They have a variable humidity that is around 50 to 70 percent in most cases.


Human interest in iguanas has endangered several of its most representative species.

The increase in the loss of their ecosystems and the habitat where they live as a result of human action, is one of the most serious problems that implies a significant reduction in iguana populations.

Life expectancy of iguanas

Iguanas are reptiles of the iguanid family that come from South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The life expectancy of iguanas It depends on many factors such as food, where they live, the species, etc.

In general, we can say that iguanas come to live between 10 and 20 years. Although they can exceed 20 years of life, it is strange that they reach these figures if they do not live in freedom.

Depending on the species, the iguanas can measure more than 2 meters in length and exceed 10 kilograms in weight.

Tips for your iguana to live longer

If you have, or are going to have an iguana, we recommend that you take into account some key points and follow a series of tips to increase your life expectancy:

  • Light: Iguanas need a lot of natural light to process their properties.
  • Temperature: keep them at a temperature between 26º and 32º. We can
  • Habitat: make sure that the place where she is going to live is big enough for her.
  • Feeding: the years that this animal lives will depend on the food. It is a herbivorous species and it is convenient to feed them with peppers, tomatoes, squash, turnip, peas, beets, cucumbers or carrots.
  • Coexistence: We must bear in mind that two male iguanas cannot live together because they can fight.

How does the green iguana live?

Being cold-blooded animals they need the heat of the sun to maintain an ideal temperature, for this they climb to the highest part of the trees. Green iguanas They are usually quite lonely reptiles.

In a natural state green iguanas They have enemies even before birth animals such as the badger can destroy their nests and eat inside the eggs. Also different cats, birds and snakes threaten their lives after leaving the shell.

Man is also responsible for hunting this species, in order to consume his meat and capture it for commercial purposes. If you have a pet with dogs or cats, caution should be taken as they could also cause death.

What do green iguanas eat?

You should know that green iguanas they are reptiles with a routine that practically does not vary in the course of their life. The first thing you will need is a source of sun where it will warm up to an adequate temperature. In the wild they usually climb to achieve it, then they eat the different plants in their habitat because this animal is exclusively herbivorous, denying the fact that they eat insects. Their diet is balanced in 70% green plants and the remaining 30% are fruits.

In captive state, a diet rich in calcium should be provided, lettuce, beets, cabbage and parsley are rich in this substance. Sporadically you can offer bread of integral preference. Your food should be cut into small pieces and preferably buy fresh.

In addition the consumption of phosphorus and vitamin D, ensures your physical health avoiding diseases. You should not forget to feed it at least 3 times a day at a fixed preference schedule.

How long does the iguana live?

It has been established that the average life expectancy of the iguana It is between 10 and 20 years. Although some cases have been documented that have been able to reach an older age. It should be noted that in these animals it is possible to distinguish the gender based on several factors, the first would be to check their hind legs, this because the males have the ability to develop many femoral pores in this part, which is used by the male to segregate some essences.

In addition, another factor in which we can guide ourselves in determining the gender of the iguana is the fact that males are usually covered with a waxy substance. Another differentiating element is that the spinal scales that are located on the back of the male iguana are usually noticeably longer and wider than that of the female iguanas.

The iguana it is a reptile of considerable size that lives in South America and Central America. It has been tracked from Mexico to northern Argentina and southern Brazil and Paraguay, as well as in some parts of the Caribbean islands and areas of Florida.

Regarding their morphology we can say that these reptiles usually have 2 meters if we measure them from their head to the tail and surprisingly some can weigh up to 10 kilograms. It should be noted that recent studies have determined that this reptile as well as others that are sometimes used as pets may be harmful to health, this because they can produce a considerable amount of poison, however, we speak of a very low amount .

What does the iguana eat?

The iguanas are very strict herbivores. This usually feed on fruits, flowers, leaves and some buds. Their typical place of dwelling is usually trees that are very close to the water, this is because when they feel in danger they throw themselves into the water to get out of the problem.

Although their appearance does not prove it, these animals are usually very good climbers and runners. In fact they are so skilled that they can fall from a height of 12 meters and not suffer damage thanks to being able to cushion the blow with their eyelashes.