Ctenosaura Palearis or Guatemalan Spiny-tailed Iguana at the Artis Royal Zoo (also known as Natura Artis Magistra), Amsterdam (Holland)
Ctenosaura Palearis, commonly known as the Motagua Spiny-tailed Iguana or Guatemalan Spiny-tailed Iguana, is a species of spiny-tailed iguana endemic to the Motagua Valley, Guatemala. The Guatemalan Spiny-tailed Iguana has a relatively slender body that is greyish-brown with some blackish banding. It also exhibits a large dewlap (a flap of skin that lies under the chin) that is more conspicuous in adult males than females, and a row of flattened spines runs along the centre of the back. Until 1997, the Guatemalan Spiny-tailed Iguana was considered the same species as Ctenosaura Melanosterna, the Rio Aguan Valley Iguana, but they were separated based on a number of differences in appearance. The Guatemalan Spiny-tailed Iguana is a semi-arboreal species that rests in hollow branches or rock crevices. Like all iguanas, this species is active during the day, and will only venture out from its shelter in the morning once temperatures have reached comfortable levels. As a cold-blooded animal, the Guatemalan Spiny-tailed Iguana will find a nearby sunny area where it will bask in the sun's warmth until the optimum body temperature is reached; it can them begin the task of feeding. The Guatemalan Spiny-tailed Iguana is primarily a herbivore that feeds on plant material, but it may also occasionally capture small animal prey. Should it become threatened by the presence of a predator, the spiny-tailed iguana will rapidly flee to take refuge in a branch or rock crevice again.