Definition of iguana in English:



  • 1A large arboreal tropical American lizard with a spiny crest along the back and greenish coloration.

    Genus Iguana, family Iguanidae: two species, in particular the common green iguana (I. iguana)

    • ‘The availability of many unusual species has led to more people considering keeping these animals in their homes, and tarantulas, iguanas, salamanders and snakes are all becoming more and more popular as pets.’
    • ‘When contact with pets is implicated, reptiles such as iguanas, lizards, turtles and snakes are usually implicated.’
    • ‘A small number of reptiles, including green iguanas and common lizards, have been shown to exhibit kin recognition.’
    • ‘The iguanas also devour sea turtle eggs and shorebird nestlings.’
    • ‘Carlow's answer to Indiana Jones is now taking his band of jungle creatures including snakes, dragon lizards, iguanas, turtles, tarantulas and scorpions onto the live stage with Ireland's first Reptile show.’
    • ‘We had horses in the surf along with iguanas running around the yard.’
    • ‘The arboreal lizard of C. and S. America, Iguana iguana, is the archetype but other members of the New World family Iguanidae bear the name.’
    • ‘For iguanas and many other reptiles, the solution is to take quick, shallow breaths when they walk and never to walk very fast.’
    • ‘Populations of howler monkeys, iguanas, and leaf-cutting ants exploded.’
    • ‘It's amazing to think that they eat iguanas in South America - they're called bamboo chicken.’
    • ‘However, not all iguanas in bad body condition had high CORT levels and we are presently investigating whether CORT levels are indeed causally related to the animals' death.’
    • ‘We collected green iguana eggs from the island of Curacao in the Caribbean, where green iguanas attain much smaller maximum body size compared to conspecifics in Panama.’
    • ‘We studied iguanas continuously from 19 December 2000-1 January 2001, during the 3-week-long mating season.’
    • ‘There are many other snakes of all different sizes, as well as chameleons, geckos, lizards, skinks, iguanas, spiders and huge tortoises.’
    • ‘It is carried by chickens, cows, and reptiles such as turtles, lizards, and iguanas.’
    • ‘The dry washes here partly conceal tortoises the size of refrigerators; iguanas as long as your arm sprawl in the baking sun.’
    • ‘And sure enough, when the gular pumping was eliminated, the monitor lizards acted more like Carrier's green iguanas.’
    • ‘Over 1,000,000 baby iguanas are imported to America each year, and the majority are dead within 2 years.’
    • ‘In Costa Rica he watched parasitologists dissecting frogs, turtles, and iguanas and finding new species of parasites in each group.’
    • ‘Recent studies have shown that these iguanas have an unusual adaptive trait: their skeletons can shrink when times are tough and regrow in times of plenty.’
    1. 1.1 Any iguanid lizard.
      • ‘The tortoises, marine iguanas and land iguanas on the Galapagos Islands, studied by Charles Darwin, provide some of the most striking examples.’
      • ‘Marine iguanas possess specialized hindgut fermenting microbes that help them to digest algae cell walls.’
      • ‘For example, male Galapagos land iguanas, Conolophus subcristatus, defend territories based partly on food resources, which they guard before the arrival of females.’
      • ‘Species studied have ranged from mosquitoes to butterflies, from fish to frogs, from tiny fence lizards to giant land iguanas in Galapagos, from hummingbirds to ostriches, from mice to elephants.’
      • ‘On San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, prickly pear cactus is a major food of rock iguanas.’
      • ‘Marine iguanas have to run towards the intertidal areas between huge breaking waves, need to sprint to crevices or behind rocks to avoid being swept away, and have to grip the intertidal rocks as strongly as possible to resist wave drag.’
      • ‘Hybrids occur everywhere scientists look, from blue whales (which mix with fin whales) to the finches and iguanas on Darwin's Galapagos Islands.’


Mid 16th century: from Spanish, from Arawak iwana.