The Rhinoceros Iguana
|Name: Rhinoceros Iguana
|Scientific name: Cyclura cornuta
|Range: Dominican Republic, the Caribbean
|Habitat: Dry rocky areas and areas of open scrub
|Diet in the wild: plant and animal material
|Diet in the zoo: mixed salad of lettuce, celery, kale, carrots, alfalfa, apple, banana, orange, hard-boiled eggs, and an occasional whole mouse
|Location in the zoo: Herpetarium
Because these animals live in such harsh environments they make extensive use of underground burrows, or dens, as retreats. These animals bask in the sun primarily in the morning and late afternoon using exposed lookouts. Shy, alert, and wary, Rhinoceros Iguanas retreat into their dens whenever disturbed or to escape the heat of day.
|Special anatomical, physiological or behavioral adaptations
Rhinoceros Iguanas are diurnal, only active during the day. Their breeding season is in April. During this time, females dig nest cavities in the sand, and can lay as many as 16 eggs!!
Among the most rapidly declining of the reptiles are the ground or rock iguanas of the genus Clyclura. These large, primarily herbivorous lizards are predominately dry habitats of the islands of the West Indies. Until the coming of man there were few large carnivores except boas and hawks, hence these lizards evolved in the relative absence of competition for food resources or major predators. Since the arrival of man and his domestic animals-dogs, cats, rats, goats, and pigs- and with the introduction of the mongoose to most of the large islands, there has been extensive predation on all the species, and today their populations are steadily declining in the face of man's intervention. Until the coming of man there were few large carnivores except boas and hawks, hence these lizards evolved in the relative absence of competition for food resources or major predators.
Rhinoceros Iguana:Sedgwick County Zoo
Rhinoceros Iguana at the Glasgow Zoo
Rhinoceros Iguana at The ARKive