Rhinoceros Iguana Natural History
This very stocky iguana reaches lengths of up to around 4.5 feet (137 cm).
Habitat and Distribution
These iguanas can be found throughout Haiti, The Dominican Republic and Hispaniola. Throughout their range they can be found in dry areas such as forests, rocky outcrops and scrubland.
These iguanas live for approximately 20 years in captivity.
This is a predominantly herbivorous reptile feeding largely on leaves and fruits however when it comes across it will also feed on small amounts of carrion.
Groups and Breeding
In the wild the males of this species will aggressively defend large territories from other males, while the females will roam between these territories. After a short rainy season these iguanas will breed resulting in the female laying between 2 to 34 eggs. She will bury these in a nest underground, which she guards for the first couple of days but will then abandon. After around 85 days these are then ready to hatch out.
These iguanas are classified as vulnerable partly due to habitat destruction but also because they have long made up part of the diet of many people living throughout their range.
Their common name comes from the horn like projection on the tip of its snout which resembles a short rhino horn. it is thought that this horn may be used by males to fend off other males in territorial disputes allowing them to clash while sparring with one another.
The Rhinoceros Iguana During Your Day Out in Kent
Our rhinoceros iguana can be seen in the reptile house which is home to a number of snakes, lizards, crocodilians and invertebrate species such as a flat rock scorpion and cobalt blue tarantula.