Iguanidae


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Related to Iguanidae: iguanids

Iguanidae

[i′gwän·ə‚dē]
(vertebrate zoology)
A family of reptiles in the order Squamata having teeth fixed to the inner edge of the jaws, a nonretractile tongue, a compressed body, five clawed toes, and a long but rarely prehensile tail.

Iguanidae

 

a family of reptiles of the order Sauria. In contrast to representatives of the closely related family Agamidae, the teeth of the Iguanidae are attached to the interior surface of the jaws. There are more than 50 genera, including Iguana, Anolis, Basiliscus, Conolophus, and Phrynosoma (horned toads), comprising about 700 species. The Iguanidae are distributed predominantly in the western hemisphere. In the eastern hemisphere they are found only in Madagascar (three species), in Fiji, and on the Society Islands (two species). The majority live in forests on trees. Many inhabit deserts and mountains, and some lead a semiaquatic mode of existence, hiding in water in the event of danger. They feed mainly on insects and other small invertebrates; some are herbivorous (for example the marine iguana). The majority are oviparous; some are ovoviviparous. The genus Iguana (two species) primarily inhabits the tropical portion of South America. Members of this genus are bright green lizards measuring up to 1.8 m long. They live on trees, usually near water; they are herbivorous. Their flesh and eggs are edible.