Taken 8-Mar-13
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• Black Spiny-tailed Iguana

Black spiny-tailed iguanas are the largest members of the genus Ctenosaura, males capable of growing up to 1.5 meters (4 ft 11 in) in length and females slightly shorter at 1 meter (3 ft 3 in). They have a crest of long spines which extends down the center of the back. Males develop an orange color around the head and throat during breeding season with highlights of blue and peach on their jowls.

Mating generally occurs in the spring. Males show dominance and interest by head bobbing; eventually the male will chase the female until he can catch her and subdue her. Within eight to ten weeks, the female will dig a nest and lay clutches of up to 30 eggs. The eggs hatch in 90 days with the hatchlings digging their way out of the sand.

They are diurnal and fast moving, employing their speed to escape predators but will lash with their tails and bite if cornered. The running speed of this species at 21.7 mph or 34.9 km/h making it the world's fastest lizard.