Green Iguana at Zoo Leipzig, also known as "Leipzig Zoological Garden" (Germany)
The Green Iguana or Common Iguana is a large, arboreal, mostly herbivorous species of lizard of the genus Iguana native to Central, South America, and the Caribbean. Usually, this animal is simply called the iguana. The green iguana ranges over a large geographic area, from southern Brazil and Paraguay as far north as Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. They are very common throughout Puerto Rico, where they are colloquially known as "Gallina de palo" and considered as an invasive species introduced from South America; in the United States feral populations exist in South Florida (including the Florida Keys), Hawaii, and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Despite their name, green iguanas can come in different colours. Green iguanas possess a row of spines along their backs and along their tails which helps to protect them from predators. Their whip-like tails can be used to deliver painful strikes and like many other lizards, when grabbed by the tail, the iguana can allow it to break, so it can escape and eventually regenerate a new one. In addition, iguanas have a well developed dewlap which helps regulate their body temperature.
This dewlap is used in courtships and territorial displays.