Posts Tagged ‘plant’
Food and Shelter: The basics of proper iguana care
Iguanas are very popular pets. People who take iguanas as pets do so because they may find iguanas “exotic”. However, some people are put off by the fact that iguana care can be very hard work. However, if you know the basics of food and shelter for iguanas, then iguana care can actually be quite easy. Here are some things you should know about proper iguana care:
1) Food Iguanas are strict herbivores. Old books on iguana care still say that you need to feed small insects to an iguana. This advice is backed by the fact that some iguanas have been seen consuming small insects in the wild. However, you should know that wild iguanas usually eat insects accidentally, when some such insect lands on a piece of vegetable matter that the iguana is eating.
Another reason why some wild iguanas eat insects is because of the fact that they have nothing else to feed on. Sometimes, different factors affect the vegetation on an iguana’s habitat and so the iguana is forced to feed on insects.
Why shouldn’t you feed animal proteins to an iguana?
First of all, iguanas’ bodies are made for maximum use of plant foods. This means that they are not ale to properly process the high concentration of protein contained ion animal products. The part of the protein that their bodies cannot process often ends up as crystals deposited in the tissue. This could lead to gout or kidney failure.
Proper iguana care requires that you try to keep your iguana on a strict vegetarian diet. Some people think that their iguana’s growth will be stunted if they do not feed it any animal proteins. You should know, however, that iguanas which are fed strictly plant foods will grow bigger and live longer.
2) Shelter this is the second consideration to take in proper iguana care. An iguana owner should pay very close attention to the habitat because of the simple fact that an iguana is cold blooded. This means that the iguana depends highly on its environment for its survival. Here are some things to consider:
a) Temperature the enclosure for the iguana should have varying spots of temperature. This is so that the iguana can regulate its body temperature by moving between cold and hot spots. You should provide a basking spot for your iguana that has a temperature ranging from 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
b) Size proper iguana care requires that you provide an enclosure which gives your iguana plenty of space to move around. Some people might think that iguanas require small habitat, but the fact is that an iguana that’s properly taken care of can grow up to six feet long! This means that you have to be prepared for the future if you want your iguana to remain healthy.
c) Lighting iguanas need a source of UVA and UVB light. Now while iguana care shops may have some artificial lighting which provides these, you should know that natural sunlight is still the best for your iguana.
These are just the basics of proper iguana care. These tips should get you started on taking proper care of an iguana. However, if you wish to truly master the art of p[roper iguana care, you should definitely research more about the subject.
The most common type of iguanas is green iguana that is usually kept as a pet in the homes. It is the renowned type of iguana and is becoming a favorite pet of most of households very fast.
But, you should know that there are other varieties of iguana also, which are mostly found in the forests. The different varieties of iguanas may have dissimilar looks, but all of them resemble in relation to their diet, habits.
The different varieties of iguana are:
1. Ctenosaura- spiny-tailed iguana.
2. Dipsosaurus, – desert iguana
3. Cyclura – rhinoceros and rock iguana.
4. Lemanctus – casque-headed iguana.
5. Corytophanes- helmeted iguana.
6. Chalarodon- Madagascar iguana.
Iguanas are Herbivores:
Herbivores are the form of creatures that eat plant and vegetation. There are many reptiles, which cannot live exclusively on plants and they eat meat of insects or other animals. Iguanas are different in this respect. This is one of the major reasons for people to keep them as their pets. It is not difficult to offer them food rather than feeding animals.
However, herbivore does not signify that iguana will eat any plant. To keep them healthy and to maintain their growth, they should be given a balanced and nutritious diet. It may constitute green and leafy vegetables and other food. You can add some lettuce. If you cannot find the leafy vegetables, find out the other green vegetables and fruits. It is better to get the advice of experts for their diet.
Most of the varieties of iguanas come from the tropical or subtropical regions. They can sustain themselves in this type of climate easily. But, they will not easily adjust in places where there is drift from hot to cold climate. In cold climate, iguana continuously needs warmth to survive and digest its food. You have to maintain the temperature in their enclosures. They need constant warmth for their body as they are cold blooded creature. You will have to install lamps or heaters to keep them warm in cold areas.
Pet and Tamed iguana.
You cannot tame your pet iguana so easily. You have to take their proper care and interact with them so that they feel comfortable and get acquainted with you and your family members.
A tamed pet iguana will soon move freely in your house and will not eat anything by just getting excited. You can take them out for outdoor activities also. Once they are habitual with you and they become friendly, you can play with them, hold, caress or cuddle them. They will not cause any harm to you.
The iguana grows very fast and becomes almost five times larger in two years with proper care and diet. The green iguanas grow between five and six feet in length.
Interesting Facts about Iguanas
Here are some things you might want to know about iguanas:
1) They are better suited to eating plants some sources still continue to say that iguanas are omnivores. To say that iguanas will benefit from eating both plant and animal products would be mistake. This is because the metabolism of the iguana is better suited to absorbing plant proteins. The proteins found in animal products are just too complex to be properly utilized by iguanas. This means that not all proteins can be absorbed by their bodies as nutrients.
So what happens to the unabsorbed proteins? Well, it is usually stored as uric acid. This uric acid can have very harmful effects on your iguana. A build up of uric acid can cause gout. Getting rid of animal protein can also be very hard work for an iguana’s kidneys. This means that feeding animal products to your iguana may cause it to have kidney problems. This shortens the iguana’s life.
2) Iguanas can be trained many people think that iguanas are stupid animals. However, people who own iguanas can actually attest to the opposite. A pet iguana can be trained to do many different things. Some people have toilet-trained their iguanas. Other people have trained their iguanas to do different types of tricks. Some iguanas can even find their way home!
These feats attest to the fact that iguanas are far from stupid. Sometimes, people just tend to judge other creatures as being lower than them.
3) They can grow up to six feet long most people think that iguanas will always fit their cages. However, when an iguana is properly taken care of, it will grow up to six feet long! This means that you will have to prepare a habitat that can accommodate an iguana’s growth. Some people may not be able to immediately provide a large enclosure for a six foot iguana. However, you should realize that an iguana will grow to that size and so you must always plan ahead.
4) Iguanas are arboreal Wild iguanas spend most of their time on trees. What are the implications of this? Well, an iguana owner has to simulate an iguana’s habitat. This means that you need to put some climbing materials on your iguana’s enclosure. Of course, you don’t have to put real trees inside the enclosure. However, you should consider placing a post or something that your iguana can climb on.
5) Iguanas need sunlight some people think that artificial lights are good substitutes for sunlight in an iguana enclosure. However, what you need to know is that iguanas need sunlight not just for the visible light. An iguana utilizes UVA and UVB light in absorbing nutrients properly. This is because the UVB light triggers a chemical reaction in an iguana’s skin which helps it make the vitamin D3. This vitamin is used to properly process calcium in the bloodstream.
These are just some of the little quirks that you may want to know about iguanas. As you can see, taking care of an iguana is not an easy task. In order to take proper care of an iguana, people should learn as much about them as possible. By taking these little details into consideration while caring for an iguana, you would assure the continued health of the iguana.
Some Facts about the Desert Iguana
1) Description the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus Dorsalis) is 10 to 16 inches long when fully grown. It has a large, round body with a long tail. In fact, the tail of the desert iguana is longer than its body. Described as “blunt-headed”, desert iguanas have very distinct coloring patterns. The head of the desert iguana is colored brown. This coloration diffuses into reddish brown pattern which could be described as looking like a net.
The desert iguana has gray spots on the trunk and neck. Desert iguanas also have dark spots on their white or gray tails. A row of dorsal scales are located down the center of the back of the desert iguana.
2) Habitat As can be gleamed from its common name, the desert iguana lives in arid desert regions. Desert iguanas are commonly found in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts founding the southwest of the United States. They are also located in Northwestern Mexico and some islands on the Gulf of California. In the southern part of its habitat, the desert iguana usually lives in arid subtropical areas and deciduous forests.
In the desert, these animals can usually be found around the range of the creosote bush. The desert iguana makes use of the creosote bush for shelter and for food. There are also several cases of desert iguanas moving into the abandoned lairs of kangaroo rats.
They are hardy animals, often active even when other lizards have already retreated from the heat. They are also inclined to burrow into the soil near creosote bushes.
3) Food desert iguanas are primarily herbivorous. This means that they are inclined to eat plant matter. They will eat bud, leaves and fruits of many types of perennial or annual plants that are found in their habitats. They are especially attracted to the yellow flowers of the creosote plant.
4) Behavior as said before, desert iguanas remain active even during intense heat. However, if the heat proves too much, a desert iguana will climb bushes in order to seek cooler temperatures. They are very quick and they can often be seen crossing roads just before an oncoming car. When a desert iguana runs at these speeds, it often does so on two legs. It folds its front legs near its body and uses its powerful hind legs to propel it forward.
5) Natural enemies like other animals, desert iguanas have natural enemies. In fact, even before they hatch, there area lot of animals which would eat iguana eggs. A mature desert iguana also has different birds of prey as its natural enemy.
Other common enemies of the desert iguana are small animals such as rats, weasels, foxes and snakes. Of course, man is also one common enemy of the iguana. Many a desert iguana has fallen prey to the automobile. These desert iguanas are now referred to as “roadkill” by the human beings who drive these machines carelessly and without regard for the lives of small animals.
These are just some facts about desert iguanas. As you can see, there are many things about them that people need to know. Hopefully, these facts have opened your eyes and have shown you that desert iguanas are so much more than stupid medium sized lizards. By learning all you can about desert iguanas, you will soon be able to fully appreciate their beauty.