Species group: Iguanas
Other common names: Mona Ground Iguana
Scientific name: Cyclura cornuta
The Rhinoceros Iguana is native to the island of Hispaniola (which includes the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in the Caribbean Sea. They are a terrestrial and herbivorous species, and prefer dry, rocky coastal habitats and scrub woodlands. Like other rock iguanas, the Rhinoceros Iguana is active during the day, and spends the night in burrows dug into the sand, in rock crevices or hollowed tree trunks. Males are very territorial.
The wild population of Rhinoceros Iguana is classified as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) because of "habitat destruction, due to extraction of hardwoods and fuelwood, charcoal production, agriculture, livestock grazing and limestone mining."
The Rhinoceros Iguana is the most common species of rock iguana in captivity.
Appearance / health:
The Rhinoceros Iguana is a large reptile, and can reach 20 pounds in weight, and 22 - 48 inches in length (62 - 122 cm). Cyclura cornuta is grey-brown in color, and is distinguished by horn-like scales on the nose and by two round fatty domes at the top of the head.
The Rhinoceros Iguana prefers a temperature of 85-90F, with a basking spot reaching up to 95F, during the day. Nighttime temperature should be lowered to 70 -75F.
Intelligent and sweet
The five rock iguanas I have gotten to work with were extremely docile and sweet. They were not aggressive, however they could scratch you up when climbing on you. Hand feeding did result in a bite, but he let go quickly when he realized I wasn't a strawberry. :).
From Kacie Bingham Sep 24 2017 10:56PM
Endangered - and A Danger to the Unwary!
I’ve long been involved in zoo-based breeding programs for the endangered rhinoceros iguana, and applaud the contributions that private keepers have made to these efforts. Certainly, these massive, bulldog-shaped brutes are highly intelligent, and the most responsive of all lizards. However, their jaw strength is beyond belief, enabling them to inflict severe, permanent injuries – during my zoo-keeping years, I lost a portion of my thumb to one.
The rhino iguana’s size dictates the provision of a custom-built cage measuring at least 10 x 10 feet, or a room dedicated as their living quarters. In a smaller enclosure, a proper thermal gradient (80-90 F, with a basking site of 100-105 F) will be impossible to maintain, and your pet’s stress and aggression levels will soar. Exposure to high levels of UVB and UVA is essential to their survival.
Strict attention must be paid to the diet. Rhino iguanas have evolved to consume a fibrous, low protein diet, and cannot live on the rich foods favored by many herbivorous lizards. A wide variety of fibrous produce and wild native plants, supplemented with calcium and vitamins, occasional root vegetables and fruit, and grassland tortoise chow must be provided if they are to thrive; I gave youngsters under my care with insects once weekly, and adults crayfish and large roaches on occasion, with good results (longevity of 40 years for one individual), but many owners rail against protein of any kind in their diets..
From findiviglio Nov 18 2015 9:10PM