IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Biology

Rhinoceros iguanas are active during the day and, like many reptiles, regulate their body temperature by basking in the sunshine to warm up and seeking shade when too hot (2) (4). At night they retreat to caves, hollow tree trunks, burrows and rock crevices. These sheltered rest areas are so important that males will actively defend territories containing retreats attractive to females (2). Breeding occurs once a year, either just before or at the start of the first rainy season (2), around April to May (4) (6). Approximately 40 days after mating, usually between June and August (4) (6), females lay a clutch of two to 34 eggs (average of 17) into a nest cavity dug in the sand (2). Females may guard the nest for a number of days after laying, and the young hatch after 85 days (2). The young rhinoceros iguanas are independent from hatching, with no parental investment as they grow (4). Although longevity records are not available for the rhinoceros iguana, large rock iguanas are amongst the longest lived lizards in the world, and most species live for several decades and can take years to reach maturity (2). This iguana is primarily herbivorous, feeding on a variety of leaves, fruits, flowers, and seeds (2) (4). However, insects, land crabs and carrion (especially dead birds and fish) will occasionally be taken (4), and caterpillars are known to be part of the diet on Mona Island (2). Young iguanas in particular are thought to feed on insects and other small animals (4).

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Source: ARKive

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