Mr. Nature: Baby Iguanas

A Handful Of Baby Iguanas Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

Yes, they get an awful lot bigger than this!

Most animals are lot more complicated than we think! They are very, very far from being just “biological machines.”

Check out this article about the social lives of baby iguanas. You’ll be surprised, I guarantee it.

Now I already knew or suspected much of this because I had my iguana for 17 years and he most certainly did not just sit around like a paperweight. No! Because of the way he was raised, he thought he was a mammal and acted accordingly. Other pet iguanas I knew, treated like inanimate objects that had to eat once in a while, became sulky and dull. As you would, under like circumstances.

These are social animals. In the wild, baby iguanas socialize with and learn from each other–not like a solitary animal stuck in a cage. A pet iguana, if raised and treated as a pet, will be a pet. (Note: You’ve got to get them young.) Raised with dogs and cats, it will make friends with dogs and cats. When I was teaching, I sometimes brought him to school with me because the kids were crazy about him.

Animals have the same maker we have; and God took pleasure in them and pronounced them good.

We have that in common with them.

Dog & Iguana: Best Friends

My iguana liked dogs and always tried to make friends with them. The only dog who didn’t respond was Pepper, my parents’ dog, who always ran away and hid under the furniture. But the cozy scene you’re seeing in this video happened around here a lot, in real life.

We are told there’s another iguana in this video-maker’s household who doesn’t get along with the dog at all. Well, they’re individuals, like we are. They’ll do their own thing.

Sorry, No Nooze Today

This is Good Friday, and our blog will observe it by not covering any of the nooze today. Hence the video of the baby iguana eating watercress. Aren’t they pretty little things? God’s stuff is just so good.

I’d love to raise a baby iguana again. If you do it right–and it’s easy to do it right–you wind up with a wonderful pet. If you do it wrong, you wind up with this big mean lizard who wants to bite you. A friend of mine had an iguana who bit him on the tongue. Yes, he was showing off by sticking his tongue out. Teenage boys do things like that. And the iguana bit off the tip of it. Yowch! Served him right.

But my iguana was raised right, and he never bit anybody. And if he could have purred while he sat on your lap, he would have.

‘My Iguana’ (2013)

Image result for images of iguana and cat

The iguana in this picture looks exactly like mine.

This pet of mine died in 1978, and I still miss him. Well, I had him 17 years: that’s a long time.

True, you couldn’t get him to play fetch or hide-and-seek; but in all other respects, he was all that could be desired in a pet. He and our cat Buster would have gotten along like a house on fire.

It’s amazing what love and kindness can do.

An Angry Iguana

My own iguana was perfectly willing to make friends with cats and dogs, and even cuddle up with them if the room got cold. That’s because he was properly raised. But there was one cat who had a habit of coming into people’s rooms and pooing on the bed. He did not permit this cat to come into my room.

This iguana is still pretty young, as shown by his still bright-green color which will fade with age. I am told that it smarts when an iguana whacks you with his tail. I don’t know: I was never whacked or clawed or bitten.

However, he is old enough to hold back. The cat is not getting the full blast of iguana fury, not by a long shot. That would consist of gaping jaws paused to bite, loud hissing, tail-lashing–and a sudden charge. Here the lizard is just letting the cat know who’s boss, and staking his claim to respect.

I think the cat will figure it out.

Big Lizard Makes Nice Pet (Sometimes)

The iguana in this video reminds me of my own iguana who was my pet for 17 years. I always fed him by hand. He had a passion for red foods, like strawberries, watermelon, or tomatoes, and if one was painted in color on the dish he was using, he would try to eat it.

Iguanas are social animals, and if you get one that’s too young to have formed any bad habits, and constantly handle it and interact with it, that iguana will grow up into a nice pet like the one pictured here. Mine was as gentle as a lamb, and almost as large. A baby could have safely played with him.

Warning: Do not treat a full-grown iguana with disrespect. A friend of mine had a very big iguana whom he had not properly socialized: this critter could be mean. And sneaky, too. One day my friend picked him up and stuck his tongue out at him.


Sorry, but I got quite a laugh out of that.

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.