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Blue Iguana Life Cycle

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by

Sarah Burton

on 2 May 2013

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Transcript of Blue Iguana Life Cycle

Life Cycle
of the
Blue Iguana A nesting female takes a lot of time and energy to find the perfect place to lay her eggs. As she digs, she blocks the tunnel behind her with loose soil. She digs a chamber, and lays between 1 to 20 eggs, and then digs her way out, and closes the entrance. Underground, the eggs take up moisture from the earth, and fill out until they are tight. Inside the eggs, the embryos develop for about 70 days. If there is a flood or no rain, the eggs might not hatch. But usually most eggs hatch.

The hatching iguanas have a microscopic "egg tooth" that they use to cut open the egg from the inside. It takes them about 12 hours to hatch themselves. They do not need to eat for the first few weeks, because they live off the egg yolk inside their abdomens. Once all they eggs have hatched they start to dig their way out of the nest chamber. They dig out in a single line, one behind the other. As soon as they break out to the surface, they scatter for cover. From then on, each one is on its own, in a very dangerous world! A newly hatched iguana has one great fear from the moment it digs out from its nest. SNAKES! Blue Iguana hatchlings know to avoid snakes - they head for the trees and disappear. For the first year of their lives, humans almost never see them and we have a very little understanding of what they do! As they grow, they become bolder and more visible. At two and a half years of age, they are old enough for the females to lay eggs, and the cycle begins again!
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