Rhinoceros Iguana

Rhinoceros Iguana                   Cyclura cornuta

Type of Animal:

Rocky areas, scrub woodland/forest, semideciduous/deciduous forest (open & closed), dry forest (open & closed), subtropical moist forest (open & closed), dry rocky forest (especially of open type in coastal areas), lowland areas, savanna, woodland, coastlines, scrub, desert, cactus thickets

Hispaniola & surrounding area

Males larger than females w/ more prominent dorsal crests/horns, both sexes have 3 tubercles on snouts resembling rhino horns, males have dewlap, uniform gray to brown drab, crest of pointed horned scales extends from nape to tail tip, vertically flattened tail, males have more prominent jowls

Greens, vegetables, fruit, berries, leaves, flowers, small lizards, snakes, insects, carrion, crabs, snails, beetle grubs, seeds, grains, cactus pads/flowers/fruit, legumes, birds, small mammals, eggs

Status in Wild:

Breeding from breeding centers, zoos, wildlife parks, & private breeders. Reintroduction programs to areas w/ low densities of alien predators.


Additional Info:


Male-20 lbs
Female-12-15 lbs

3 months 

Life Span:
20 years in wild, 30-40 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male-3-3.5 ft
Female-2-2.5 ft

Tail Length:
Male-7.2 in
Female-13 in

Main predators of adults are large snakes, hawks, dogs (introduced), & cats (introduced). Smaller snakes, mongooses (introduced), rats (introduced), & pigs (introduced) prey on young.

These animals, especially males, fight fiercely over territory.

Endangered due to introduced predators, nest destruction by goats, hunting for meat, pet trade, habitat loss, deforestation, human recreation by nest sites, livestock grazing, mining, agriculture, & habitat exploitation for charcoal production/fuel wood.

Females lay anything from 2-34 eggs per clutch.

Sexually mature around 3-4 years old.

Eggs usually laid in summer.

Young rhino iguanas born completely independent from their mom.

While females don’t look after young, they’ll sometimes defend nest for a few days.

They’re active during the day (diurnal).

Like other rock iguanas, they’re primarily terrestrial.

Fun Fact(s):
Their eggs some of the largest lizard eggs in the world.

Iguanas head bob to defend territory.

They have wide range of temperaments, from friendly to aggressive.

They play important role in seed dispersal due to diet.

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