6 Things (you didn’t know) About Xcalak’s Iguanas

6 Things (you didn't know) About Xcalak's Iguanas - featured image

Iguanas are underfoot in Xcalak. You’ll find them on tree limbs, sunbathing on rocks, or fleeing from your car (usually at the last moment). Of Xcalak’s iguanas, the black spiny tailed iguana is the most common.

Although really, they look more like a grey, black-banded iguana (see the picture above). But that doesn’t sound nearly as good.

While in Xcalak, impress other vacationing folks with these 6 facts about the iguanas in Xcalak.

  1. They have 3 eyes! The white spot on top of an iguana’s head is called the “parietal eye” It can’t see like other eyes, but has photoreceptors that sense change in light/dark. This 3rd eye alerts Xcalak’s iguanas to overhead predators.
  2. They are (mostly) vegetarian. Don’t fear the iguanas in Xcalak. They eat leaves, flowers, and fruit. Iguanas are opportunist, and may sample insects, eggs, or crabs. Never feed a wild iguana as it can get aggressive.
  3. They are bright green at birth. Xcalak’s iguanas grow up to be black and spiny tailed, but at birth they are bright green (and oh-so cute). A baby iguana turns grey/black by its first year.
  4. They climb trees to survive. It’s not up there looking for eggs. The iguanas in Xcalak hang out in tree limbs for safety. Being off the ground protects them from predators like snakes, hawks, and racoons.
  5. They are diurnal. What’s this weird word? Diurnal means being awake with the sun. Xcalak’s iguanas are active during the day and rest at night. Just like humans!
  6. They can live 25 years. That iguana that you nearly ran over on the north beach road could be older than your children. It’s common for Xcalak’s iguanas to live around 15 years, but those ornery male iguanas can live up to 25 long years.

Like it or not, you’ll meet iguanas at some point during your visit to Xcalak. As you admire these stoic reptiles, remember these 6 fascinating facts – there’s more to them than meets the parietal eye.