The Rhinoceros Iguana

Rhinoceros IguanaBeata Island has one ofthe biggest Rhinoceros iguana populations in the world, being endemic to the caribbean Island of Hispaniola. They tend to bask in the sun for hours to heat up their bodies and are mostly herbivorous.

The rhinoceros iguana also known as “Goliath Dragons” (Cyclura cornuta) is a threatened species of lizard in the family Iguanidae that is primarily found on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, shared by the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They vary in length from 60 to 136 centimetres (24 to 54 in) and skin colors range from a steely gray to a dark green and even brown. Their name derives from the bony-plated pseudo-horn or outgrowth which resembles the horn of a rhinoceros on the iguana’s snout.

The rhinoceros iguana is a species of lizard belonging to the genus Cyclura. The generic name (Cyclura) is derived from the Ancient Greek cyclos meaning “circular” and ourá  meaning “tail”, after the thick-ringed tail characteristic of all Cyclura. The rhinoceros iguana’s specific name, cornuta, is the feminine form of the Latin adjective cornutus, meaning “horned” and refers to the horned projections on the snouts of males of the species. The species was first identified by Pierre Joseph Bonnaterrein 1789.