When temperatures dipped in South Florida last night the iguanas couldn’t hang on. They were falling out of trees. Emily Maple is the reptile keeper at the Palm Beach County Zoo. She said iguanas freeze when it gets below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s about 7 degrees celcius. “If it’s just for a day or two, they’ll just get to where they’re completely frozen in time. They’re still able to breathe. They’re still able to do bodily functions, just very slowly,” she says. So when you find them they’re not necessarily dead. Once it gets above 50 degrees they’ll start to activate and move around, more or less thawing out.”
How bizzare! I didn’t even know there were wild iguanas in Florida! Their native habitat range stretches from southern Mexico to the Brazilian rainforest, where they spend most of their time perched in tree canopies. It wasn’t until the 1960s that these large lizards, some of which can grow to be six feet long, were brought to Florida. Since then, their populations have exploded.
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