In this article, we’ll answer the question:
“Are iguanas dangerous?”
First, you’ll find a short summary about the dangerousness of iguanas in general, then get specific answers about these reptiles like are iguanas aggressive, will they bite, do iguanas eat humans, etc.
Iguanas are herbivorous lizards in the order of Squamata group in the class of Reptilia and phylum Chordata. Two species are placed in the iguana genus: the green iguana, which is a popular pet, and the Lesser Antillean iguana, which is native to the Lesser Antilles.
Are Iguanas Dangerous?
Iguanas are not dangerous to humans in the wild or when kept as pets. Although iguanas possess atrophied venom glands, the poison this lizard produces is weak and harmless to humans.
Some iguanas can spread salmonella infection to people. But salmonella is found in the intestinal tracts of these lizards. Therefore, iguanas are not dangerous to humans in this sense unless a person eats the lizard.
The most common type of danger iguanas pose to humans is in the form of damaging pavement and foundations. These lizards are known to dig lengthy tunnels that can destroy parts of the ground, which can pose a threat to the safety of sidewalks and walkways.
Are Iguanas Aggressive?
Iguanas are not aggressive to humans but these lizards can display aggressive behavior as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened. Iguanas do show aggression toward other lizards as a form of dominance, especially when looking for the best mate for reproduction.
Aggression in iguanas can also be triggered by other factors, such as changes in their environment or interactions with predators. Iguanas are known to become aggressive when defending themselves against other animals but only as a way to get away from the predatory animal.
If you have a pet iguana that has become overly aggressive, it is essential to seek help from a veterinarian or reptile specialist. There may be something wrong with the lizard that requires diagnosis and treatment to keep you safe as a pet owner.
Do Iguanas Bite?
Iguanas do bite in self-defense against humans and other animals. Iguanas possess dozens of sharp serrated teeth that can cause serious injuries to the face, fingers, wrists, and ankles but getting bitten is relatively uncommon.
When an iguana is defending itself, it will stand up on its hind legs, lean forward to assess the distance, and bob its head to make itself seem larger to the predator. During a bite, iguanas typically tear the skin instead of puncturing the flesh with a single bite.
If you encounter an iguana in the wild, it’s essential to keep your distance. Iguanas can bite you if provoked, so it’s best to admire them from afar. As for iguana pets, proper lizard care includes regular vet visits to ensure the animal’s mouth is healthy and its teeth are correctly cared for, even though the iguana could bite you in the future.
Do Iguanas Attack Humans?
Iguanas do not attack humans and are only aggressive if the lizard feels threatened by people. An iguana will typically give physical warning signs before an attack so you know it is feeling aggression.
While iguanas do not typically hunt or attack humans on purpose, there have been many cases where individuals have been bitten or scratched. These lizards have been known to attack ankles, legs, and feet, so it is important to keep yourself safe when handling an iguana as a pet.
It is best to avoid provoking an iguana in the wild as it can be somewhat dangerous when it feels threatened. If an iguana does attack you, or attempts to bite or scratch you, try to remain calm and move away slowly. If you have a pet iguana and it attacks your hand, arms, legs, or face, then you should seek medical attention to prevent infection.
Iguanas do not eat humans and cannot digest meat. Iguanas are herbivores that feed on plant-based materials like leaves, flowers, and fruit.
Are Iguanas Friendly?
You can visit our other guide about are iguanas friendly to find out how nice these reptiles can be to people in the wild and at a zoo.
Iguana Dangerous & Aggressive Summary
You now know the answer to the question about are iguanas dangerous.
As you discovered in this guide, iguanas do not eat humans or attack people unless they feel threatened. Therefore, are iguanas aggressive or not depends on if these reptiles are being encroached upon by people in nature or in captivity.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.