The family of iguanas consists of the biggest lizards in the world. All iguanas have whip-like tails that compose about half of the length of their body. However, the appearance and behavior of different iguana species are varied, so it is not easy to identify them as members of one iguana family.
These ground-dwelling and herbivorous iguanas, which resemble dinosaurs, are also called West Indian iguanas. They come in different sizes and colors. Rock iguanas may be brown, gray, blue, red, or green.
They can be found only in the Galapagos Islands. That is why these iguanas are also commonly known as Galapagos land iguanas. Land iguanas are classified into two species: Conolophus pallidus and Conolophus subcristatus.
Like the land iguanas, marine iguanas can be found only in the Galapagos Island. Marine iguanas are the only modern lizards in the world that can survive and hunt for food in the sea. They usually stay in rocky shores, beaches, and mangrove swamps. These iguanas have different appearances, and they are collectively called the Galapagos marine iguanas.
The iguanas are members of a family of lizards known as Ctenosaura, which are unique because of their huge spiny scales that surround their tails, hence the name spiny-tail iguanas. Living in Central America and Mexico, spiny-tail iguanas can grow from 5 to 48 inches long.
They are among the most common lizards that thrive in the Sonora and Mojave deserts in Southwest America as well as in the Gulf of California. The scientific name of desert iguanas, Dipsosaurus dorsalis, comes from the Greek term Dipsa meaning thirst and sauros meaning lizard.
These iguanas comprise the genus Sauromalus, which means flat lizard. Indeed, chuckwallas iguanas look like flat lizards—they have flat midsections and a striking paunch or loose skin on their necks and side of their bodies. Their broad tails have tiny spiny scales, and their skin is covered with small grain-like scales.
To sum it up, iguanas vary in appearance and habitats. The species of iguanas are typically determined according to their natural environment.