Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day of the Iguana

This young 12 year old catches the Iguanas around the Marina  to have a companion for the day. This baby one is the youngest we have seen so far.

We see them all over now but these guys were down by the 7  mile bridge trail.

I wonder if he is a Guard Iguana

Day of the Iguana

Some say there are at least three species of Iguanas in the Florida Keys, maybe more but "The species was first officially described by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1758.[2] In the two centuries since then, numerous subspecies have been identified, but later classified as merely regional variants of the same species.[2] (Wikipedia)" I know there are several colors for sure. Some locals here believe that the colors change as they age but wiki says: "Despite their name, Green Iguanas can come in different colors. In southern countries of their range, such as Peru, green iguanas appear bluish in color with bold black markings.[13] On islands such as BonaireCuraçaoAruba, and Grenada, a Green Iguana's color may range from green to lavender, black, and even pink.[5][13]" All I know is that they come in really cool colors.

 The Green Iguana Society:   States: 

"The Problem: The term “feral” is used to describe animals that used to belong to someone
 as pets or livestock, but now live on their own as wild animals. Feral iguanas are common
 in some parts of southern Florida. To be more precise, the wild green iguanas in Florida are
 a mix of former pets and the offspring of these animals. Green iguanas are generally thought
 not to be native to the United States. This places wild green iguanas in the category of “invasive” or “exotic” species -- "

Please check out and read the whole page:

To us the Iguanas are awesome to look at and watch. They seem pretty passive and do not harm anyone but not everyone feels the same: Read this:

It took us a while to spot one but now we see them all the time. Lots of locals keep them for pets and they are just as much a part of their family as a dog is to some. One local we talked to on the bus coming back from Key West said he has a friend with a Pet Iguana and the thing is 5' long (they can get up to 6 feet long). The Iguana has it's own little door to come and go to/from the house as he pleases like a doggy door. The Iguana likes to sleep on the owners chest and they often sleep together that way. He said the Iguana is like his child. 
Others like how they Taste. I asked them if they made Tacos out of them? He said no but they make a fine stew and other culinary delights and at least one road side Stand has Iguana on the Menu. So if you would like to come and hunt some for lunch read this:
And here is a recipe at the end of this article if you do not want to BBQ them:
They say the small ones taste the best! The Florida Wildlife Commission invited all the chefs from the Keys to attend a meeting on creating recipes for Iguana and to include them on their restaurant menus. They did the same thing to try and help manage the invasive Lion fish and all the chefs showed up, but not one chefs showed up for the Iguana meeting!  I guarantee you that if we had all these Iguanas in Texas they would be in the Tacos!
The Iguanas flourish in the warm climate here but the North winds can  blow down here occasionally and when it does get cool the Iguanas start dropping out of the trees as they gointo a hibernation state. The local on the bus said a friend brought over a two dead Iguanas he found in the road. He said they are Heavy. I told him they were not dead so he put a blanket on them and warmed them up and soon they woke up and crawled away. He also told us that they will dive into the water from high up in the trees and swim away. A Intern at the Key Deer national Preserve told us that one came by him when he was Kayaking and he tried to paddel as fast as he could (and he was a very fit 20 something) and the Iguana was just to FAST! The Admiral was over at the Pavilion near the City Marina here just yesterday for Yoga and she heard a big CLUMP right by here so she looked over and a Iguana had just fell from the tree above her. The Iguana looked at her then scurried away.

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