Tag Archives: animal body language

But Will He ‘Sit’ When You Tell Him To?

I just had to show you this video of a great big iguana making like a dog when daddy calls.

Actually, the lizard’s attitude is, well, ambivalent.

The body language tells us this iguana is conflicted. Notice the head-bobbing as he approaches the man. If the man were another male iguana, that gesture would mean “beat it, ya bum!” Also, the lizard’s mouth is open, which means he’s thinking seriously about biting the man. But if he were really serious, he’d straighten his legs to stand higher off the ground and cock his tail to wack the man. He also hasn’t bothered to puff out his dewlap.

I think what we have here is an iguana who sincerely likes his owner but can’t help reacting to him, when he first sees him coming, as if he were another lizard. Like all properly socialized iguanas, though, he is able to curb his instinct for aggression.

If you’re thinking of acquiring an iguana for a pet, here are two simple rules to follow. 1) Get a young one, so there aren’t any nasty habits that may not be able to be broken. 2) Handle your put a lot, every day, feed him by hand, carry him around–and he will come to love you for it.

I speak from experience.


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