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Aggressive Iguana Behavior

Aug 17, 2007
An iguana is a fascinating lizard pet that when handled properly and gently from the time they are received, are not aggressive at all. When an iguana does show aggression he shows signs of fight or flight syndrome and will hide away or try to fight.

Like every other living being, aggression shows signs of extreme discomfort to the point that the living thing believe it has no other choice but to fight or flight. It's simply a defense mechanism and in some animals, it is mating behavior. The iguana is also included in this group in that the male iguana will show aggression around certain hormones but that will be discussed later on in the article.

Handling an Iguana

The handling of an iguana plays a pivotal role in the aggression levels of and care should be taken when handling them from the time they are first brought into a home. There is a very incredible thing about an iguana that too few people know about and that is the third eye they have on the back of the head. This third eye plays a part in your pet's aggression at times because when you reach for your lizard from the back, he perceives it to be a threat as all he sees from this eye is shadows.

Approach the iguana from the front and speak softly as harsh treatment does not affect iguanas in a positive way, in fact it has no effect on them except to provoke aggression. To avoid aggression in your iguana, always try to pick it up or pet it from the front.

Females and The Iguana Aggression

Although it may sound strange, female handlers and owners of a male iguana can display signs of aggression during the female menstrual cycle. Sounds crazy but its true. This is believed to be because of a specific pheromone that is emitted by the female during this time.

This 'scent' that the iguana sense and cause the aggression can be abated with a replacement mate in his environment such as a small stuffed toy or even a rubber glove will calm him and he will be less aggressive. Iguanas that show aggression can be taught to be feel comfortable by you with some patience and as stated earlier, approaching it from the front. When the iguana allows you to pick it up, always let it sit on your forearm or back of the hand so it is in a position that it feels safe.
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