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Iguanas - An unusual interesting & exotic pet choice

Updated on October 23, 2014

A green Iguana

Pet iguana - common green land variety
Pet iguana - common green land variety | Source
I Wanna Iguana
I Wanna Iguana
I want one too!

If you have a child between 4 and 8 this amusing tale about Iguanas is sure to be entertaining. Read as Alex tries to convince his mom to let him have an Iguana as a pet.

Why I love Iguanas

There's just something about an Iguana that I've always found intriguing. Growing up I not only wanted one, but if I had to choose what animal to be, the Iguana would be my first choice.

I'm actually not a big fan of reptiles, there are actually some lizards that make me shudder and cringe, but when I think of an Iguana, I'm almost in love.

It's the one exotic pet that I'm fascinated with and have a weak spot for, most people don't share my affection for these creatures but that's fine with me. Allow me to share my fascination with this unusual pet and why I've always wanted an Iguana as a pet.

Image credit: pictures of iguanas on this page are in the public domain.

Royal reptiles

Iguana Handbook (B.E.S. Pet Handbooks)
Iguana Handbook (B.E.S. Pet Handbooks)
A handbook for that special pet

The photos in The Iguana Handbook are amazing, they truly capture the regal and majestic personality of this reptile, the picture on the cover is the image that comes to mind when I think of Iguanas.

Regal & majestic creatures

Iguanas have always struck me as regal and confident creatures, they always seem to hold their chin up with an air of confidence befitting royalty. They seem unperturbed by the fact that people dismiss them as mere lizards and seem to have an inner confidence as though to say "I have a secret, and If you knew who I truly was, you'd bow before me". The pride in each step seems to say "I am lord of all I survey..."

This majestic image was further reinforced for me on my trip to the Virgin Islands, where I witnessed some of the largest Iguanas I have ever seen, ever so casually cross the street in no particular hurry as traffic (to my surprise) had little choice but to wait on them. It is actually illegal to kill an Iguanna in St.Thomas (oh the joys of living on an island where the wildlife is protected) in many other countries if they were spared from becoming road kill they would certainly end up in someones pot!

Learn more about iguanas

Iguanas For Dummies
Iguanas For Dummies
Who would have guessed the "For Dummies" series had a title on this topic!

Had I read about the temperament of iguanas I would know what to expect when I met one in person.

A plant iguanas seem to love

Iguanas love these plants, they offer shelter and protection and make a great home.
Iguanas love these plants, they offer shelter and protection and make a great home. | Source

Where dinosaurs rule the earth

My trip to the land where dinosaurs (i mean Iguanas) ruled the earth... Oh how I wished I could have taken one home with me or else stay in the land where Iguanas freely roamed.

I remember a particular plant , a green spiky cactus-like plant that made a perfect camouflage for the iguana, lots of shade and room to move about, they loved it.

I would often stare at this plant as I passed on foot, trying to figure out what was plant and what wasn't. Those were my days of inexpensive disposable cameras that never did justice to anything in nature worth shooting.

I would have liked to have petted a wild one that was inches from me on my travels... but figured that they probably might not take too kindly to having their personal space invaded by a random stranger and act out accordingly, after all their armored appearance must be there for a reason, otherwise they'd probably be covered in warm toned cuddly fluff.

Still, in a sense, a sense I felt we were kindred spirits.

Stunning photos and beautiful images of iguanas can be found in this look and learn book for kids.

Iguanas 2

Iguanas also strike me as very alert and seemingly intelligent creatures simply by their mannerisms. It's the way they turn their heads and dart their eyes inquisitively, analyzing and surmising their environment and whatever company that happens to pass them. Nothing seems to pass unnoticed under their watchful eyes. Almost covered in what might seem like an impenetrable armor complete with spikes the iguana gives an appearance that seems to say "I'll keep my guard up, you keep your distance, and we'll both be just fine" and in a look warn "don't thread on me".

Don't let his appearance lead you to judge him too quickly however, for despite a somewhat seemingly standoffish appearance, this creature has a very attractive phlegmatic demeanor, that is to say that in general pet iguanas are very easy going, laid back and as docile a pet as one could wish for, and are far from aggressive.

I've often felt a little envious of the lone fellow who would casually walk around the town seeming to beg the question from wandering eyes "...ehh, excuse me, but do you know there's an Iguana on your shoulder?"

A warm toned Galapagos Iguana

Colorful Iguana as a pet
Colorful Iguana as a pet | Source

So many colors

Not all Iguanas are created equal - how many pets can you think of besides birds and fishes that naturally come in blue?

Well I was impressed by the common green Iguana until I came across iguanas in the color blue. It was like finding a naturally blue rose!

Other colors and species also exist including red and the grey, earthen shades and the subdued tones of the marine Iguanas but none of these I care for, I only have eyes for Iguanas in green and blue.

Iguana love?

How do you feel about Iguanas?

See results

Green Iguana - ready to take care of an Iguana?

Let me know how you feel about Iguanas - do you love any exotic pets?

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    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi teaches12345, I'd love to see one of those large orange & green ones, the largest ones I've seen are the common green variety. I find the difference in color and general appearance of the various species quite interesting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      We see these interesting creatures around wet spots in Florida. The orange-green ones are quite large. Thanks for the education on these unique animals.

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks Gypsy Rose Lee, glad you enjoyed reading about my reptilian friends.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up and interesting. I love the green iguanas. Great information and love the pics. Passing this on.

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi mio cid, Iguanas can make great pets once they get accustomed to their new surroundings and have been socialized. Like many pets they can bond with their owner and be potty trained, they can also enjoy body rubs, treats, and being held & carried around. Iguanas are by nature very curious and observant, but they also have unique personalities.

      It's a good idea to do a lot of research when considering an iguana as a pet since they have their own special needs, plus taming and socializing an iguana can take years, but they can make the perfect pet for some owners.

    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 

      6 years ago from Uruguay

      Are iguanas even aware that they are our pet?can there be any interaction with one?I'm curious because I had never thought of a pet iguana.

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Sorry iguanas looks like we almost had RonElFran won over. But seriously your vision of a having a pet iguana was a barrel of laughs, thanks for the smile.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      6 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Good try, Jemjoseph. If anybody could get me to love iguanas, it would be you. But the vision of me petting my iguana as he looks adoringly into my eyes, or of having my iguana lick my face in a frenzy of joy just because he's with me... Somehow I just can't see that picture.

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Yes majestic definitely comes to mind and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that feels that way. Thanks for sharing you experience with iguanas and their smaller cousins Loretta L

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 

      6 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      I love iguanas, they are so interesting to watch and rather majestic. I like lizards too, especially the small green lizards which shared my home when I lived in Australia. We don't get iguanas in the UK (not in the wild, anyway) and I have never seen a lizard, although I know we have them. I've seen lizards in the mediterranean and in the tropics, but the only time I saw an iguana in the wild was in Australia.

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks senditondown, seems that in Mexico there is no need to have a single pet iguana since they are a very common part of the local fauna. I can imagine that with an "iguana friendly" yard area they would probably visit and even stick around.

    • senditondown profile image


      6 years ago from US

      I remember riding through Mexico and seeing Iguanas on the roof of many houses. Also on the menu at quite a few restaurants. I'm glad that you value them as pets and overall interesting creatures.

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      SandyMertens, nice to meet someone who also finds iguanas interesting and has had the experience of having one as a pet.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      We had an iguana as a pet. Interesting pet but do not want to have another one.

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      DeborahDian that's really funny. My imagination has me thinking of a 6ft iguana jumping in and everyone running out shouting "alligator". Living or even visiting a country with lots of iguanas can be interesting.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 

      6 years ago from Orange County, California

      We stayed at the Las Hadas hotel in Mexico one time, and they have iguanas that join the guests in the swimming pools! Took some getting used to. :)

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      MartieG glad to meet someone who also admires them. That's one good reason for me to consider visiting Mexico.

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      GrammieOlivia I agree, thanks for pointing this out. It is important when considering a pet to think of the decision as a lifetime commitment (they can live for 20 yrs) and therefore consider all the facts including the adult size and needs of the pet. An adult green Iguana for instance can grow up to around 6 ft and can weigh 20 lbs, these two factors alone might make them impractical for the average pet owner. As with any pet proper research should be done on the long term requirements.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      6 years ago from Jersey Shore

      When we go to Mexico Iguanas are everywhere and I love seeing them-nicely done!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting, I hate that people get these exotic pets and then get tired of them. Then they release them and they die or they are so neglected that they wish they were dead. Right now I have a huge green slider turtle that someone got tired of and am nursing it back to health.......

    • Jemjoseph profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      BarbRad Thanks for your perspective, some people practice having their iguana free roam outdoors during the warm months especially if the iguana has a calm personality and the yard area is well fenced to keep the iguana in and predators out. I've seen numerous iguanas happily making their home in unfenced yards simply because they loved the particular shady protective fauna in that area so much.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I had friends who had a pet iguana once. I don't know what happened to it when they moved. I didn't see it in their new house when I visited them years later. I guess I don't like to see wild animals confined in a house.


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