National Iguana Awareness Day Date in the current year: September 8, 2024

National Iguana Awareness Day National Iguana Awareness Day is celebrated annually on September 8. This holiday is dedicated to amazing lizards native to tropical areas of the Americas that are often kept as pets.

In the narrow sense of the word, the term “iguana” refers to a genus of tropical lizards native to tropical areas of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. It consists of two extant species: the green iguana (also known as the American iguana) and the Lesser Antillean iguana (also known as the West Indian iguana). Some zoologists classify the Saban black iguana as the third species, but the Reptile Database considers it a subspecies of the green iguana alongside the Grenadines horned iguana and the Saint Lucia horned iguana.

Two iguana species that make up the genus Iguana are sometimes referred as “true” iguanas. Iguanas in the broader sense of the term are lizard species that belong to the genera Amblyrhynchus (marine iguanas), Brachylophus (Fijian/Tongan iguanas), Cachryx (spinytail iguanas), Conolophus (Galápagos land iguanas), Ctenosaura (spinytail iguanas), Cyclura (West Indian rock iguanas), and Dipsosaurus (desert iguanas) in the family Iguanidae.

True iguanas and iguana-type lizards are diverse in terms of size, appearance, and habitat. True iguanas and many other iguana species are strict herbivores that forage exclusively on vegetation and foliage, but spinytail iguanas are generally omnivores that feed on foliage, flowers, fruits, and small animals.

The green iguana and some other iguana species are popular pets due to their mostly calm disposition and bright colors. However, they are high-maintenance pets that can be very demanding to care for properly. Iguanas require a lot of space because they can grow to be 1.5-2 meters long. Since iguanas are native to tropical areas, their environment needs consistent heating, at least 70% humidity, and a special UVB lamp to prevent calcium deficiency.

Iguanas also have a long lifespan; the standard lifespan of a green iguana in captivity is between 12 and 15 years, but these lizards are known to live for up to 20 years. So it is very important to understand that getting a pet iguana is a longtime commitment. It also should be noted that pet iguanas are illegal in some jurisdictions because they are considered an invasive species. To put it short, you should be very thorough with your research if you’re considering getting a pet iguana.

The origins of National Iguana Awareness Day are somewhat murky, but it seems to have been around since at least 1998. If you like lizards or exotic animals in general, you absolutely have to celebrate this amazing holiday! You can learn interesting facts about iguanas, check out iguanas at your local zoo, or even consider getting an iguana as a pet (of course only if you are 100% sure that you will be able to take good care of a large lizard that can live up to 20 years). If you already have an iguana, give your pet a special treat and share its photos on social media with the hashtags #NationalIguanaAwarenessDay and #IguanaAwarenessDay to spread the word.

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