Kids' Animal Station

For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals

Sightseeing in Aruba: An Iguana Peepshow?!

A few days ago, I was laying on the living room rug and working on my upcoming essays, when I was startled by an unexpected visitor. Through the window, a large, greenish-grey iguana sat perched on the branch outside the window, tilted its reptilian head to glare at me. OMG! So creepy….

If the piercing, calculating eyes don’t convince you that this is a proud descendant of the dinosaurs, the long, jagged spikes running down its back and scaly, leathery skin should! Definitely wouldn’t want to be on this guy’s bad side…While iguanas are certainly no surprise as native residents of Central and South America, I can’t help but wonder if there’s anything special about the iguanas lurking around the desert landscape of Aruba. Well, why don’t we find out?

According to VisitAruba.com, iguanas are locally called “Yuwanas” and these unique creatures are actually sometimes turned into iguana soup! Thought to symbolize strength, life, and fertility, some rumor iguana soup to have magical abilities. Not quite sure if that’s enough for me to try….But the overhunting of iguanas for this very purpose led to a 1995 prohibition on hunting iguanas.

So is the iguana looking at me, or his handsome twin reflected in the windowpane? I’m not sure, but if the little guy’s actions were driven by self-admiration, I might’ve just found the vainest lizard ever! Googling iguana vision led me down a few odd and unhelpful rabbit holes. However, an interesting article about bearded dragons from BioBubble.com claims that these small, tan cousins of the iguana become stressed by over-fixating on their reflection in mirrors and occasionally windows. In particular, they may believe they’re being confronted by a rival dragon. So perhaps our local iguana is just interested in protecting his turf. To that point, he’s the only iguana I’ve seen around our apartment.

It wouldn’t be unheard of if the iguana was just a particularly curious fellow. An Aruban guide on our kayaking tour told us that the iguanas living in close proximity to the hotel and touristy areas are often shockingly unafraid of human beings. He even told us that they stole a French fry straight out of his hand, which would be terrifying if it weren’t so hilarious. Unless you know that male Green Iguanas can grow up to 5 feet! Ha…Ha…Not so funny after all, right?

I always feel like..somebody’s watching meeeeee
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