The Jamaican Iguana (Cyclura collei) is a large species of lizard of the genus Cyclura endemic to Jamaica. It is the largest native land animal in the country, and is critically endangered, being thought extinct since 1948. Once found throughout Jamaica and on Goat island, it is now confined to the forests of the Hellshire hills.
The Jamaican iguana's generic name (Cyclura) is derived from the Ancient Greekcyclos (κύκλος) meaning "circular" and ourá (οὐρά) meaning "tail", after the thick-ringed tail characteristic of all Cyclura. Its specific name Collei is Latin for the word "hill" and refers to the regions in which it was once found in Jamaica.
Anatomy and morphology
The Jamaican iguana is a large heavy-bodied lizard primarily green to salty blue in color with darker olive-green coloration on the shoulders. Wild individuals, particularly nesting females, often appear deep reddish-brown in color after... Read More