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Rhinoceros Iguana


Rhinoceros Iguana - Cyclura cornuta.

Rhinoceros Iguana - Cyclura cornuta.

Photo © Laura Klappenbach.
The rhinoceros iguana (Cyclura cornuta) is a large iguana whose common name was inspired by the several enlarged, horn-like scales on its snout that resemble the horns of a rhinoceros. Rhinoceros iguanas (Cyclura cornuta) grow to lengths of 61cm-122cm (24in-48in). Their skin is covered with rough scales grayish-brown to olive green in color. Males are larger than females and develop larger horns. Males are highly territorial.

The lifespan of wild rhinoceros iguanas is not known but a lifespan of 20 years has been recorded for captive individuals. Females dig burrows in which they lay 2-20 eggs and guard them vigorously (Burnie and Wilson).

Young iguanas are carnivorous but once they reach adulthood, they become primarily vegetarian, eating leaves, fruit, flowers, and berries and only occasionally eating insects and small animals (Source: Egnatios-Beene).



The rhinoceros iguana inhabits areas of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Cuba, Puerto Rico) and several other islands in the Caribbean. Rhinoceros iguanas are terrestrial and live in coastal areas of dry, rocky terrain, dry forest, or scrub habitat. They dig their nesting burrows in areas with small trees, cacti, and shrubs. Habitat pressures caused by humans has forced some populations inland, away from previous coastal habitats.
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