CLASSIFICATION OF IGUANA
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin)
Class :- REPTILIA ( Scaly vertebrates with right and left aortic arches. Single condyle, pulmonary respiration. Embryo with amnion and allantois ).
Sub-class :- DIAPSIDA ( Skull with two temporal openings separated by postorbital and squamosal ).
Order :- SQUAMATA ( Lizards and snakes with horny epidermal scales or shields. Quadrate bone movable. Vertebrae procoelous. Anal opening transverse).
Sub-order :- SAURIA ( Lizards. Body slender, limbs 4. Pterygoid in contact with quadrate. Eyelids movable )
FAMILY :- IGUANIDAE (Limbs normal. Teeth homodont).
GENUS :- Iguana
Iguana is found in tropical countries. It is distributed in Mexico, West Indies,
Southern and Central America.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Iguana is adapted for active running and climbing. It feeds on leaves, fruits, some insects and small vertebrates. It lives on trees. Iguanas like warm temperatures because they are cold blooded. This means that the outside temperature is what keeps them warm since they have no way to regulate internal heat with their own bodies.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF IGUANA
- Iguana measures about 2 metres having head short neck, compressed trunk and elongated tail.
- General colour of upper part is a mixture of green and black and underpart pale greenish or whitish.
- Back contains lance-like spines along mid-dorsal line extending upto tail. Mid-line spines are also present along lower jaw flap of skin.
- Head contains wide mouth, small eyes, nostrils and opening of external ear. Teeth are acrodont like and fixed to the sides of the jaw.
- Eyelids complete. Tongue is fleshy and non-protractile.
- Forelimbs and hind limbs are normal. Digits are clawed.
- Both sexes have femoral pores.
- In tropics Iguana is used as food by man.
Iguanas are the largest lizards in America. It has strong jaws with sharp teeth. They have very long and sharp tail that is usually half of the body size. Tail is used mainly for defense (They can punch its enemy with tail).
This lizard contains median row of spines on back and tail, besides above characters, hence it is Iguana.