Green Iguana by TL Wilson Photography
Grand Cayman, British West Indies
Perched on a fence, glaring down from a shady palm tree or wriggling quickly across the road are the Cayman island’s most populous visitors: the green iguanas. These dinosaur-like lizards, native to Central and South America, have made Grand Cayman their home since the 1980’s, when they multiplied in the wild after they were brought over as pets. The scaly green reptiles are excellent swimmers, and can often be found hanging off of both trees and buildings near the water. These majestic looking creatures may intimidate some of this Caribbean island’s tourists, but these herbivores are peaceful and non-aggressive animals, providing an exciting presence for wildlife enthusiasts.
Although these creatures are stunning to look at and interesting to watch, they are a big problem in Grand Cayman, as they have become an invasive species and are a threat to the native rock iguanas, and the Department of Environment has been trying to reduce the green iguana population by killing the giant lizards.
Regardless of their uncontrollable population, the green iguanas remain a fascinating species. Scientists are studying their social behavior to better understand how herbivorous dinosaurs behaved 65 million years ago.
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