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Basic Iguana Anatomy

The Simple Basics of The General Iguana

​Subtympanic Shield

The subtympanic shield serves little purpose. It is possible its large size would help dissuade predators by fooling them into believing it is a large eye or it may help to break up the iguanas shape amongst the trees.

Brain Bumps

The bumps on an iguanas head are not truly "brain bumps", they are actually fatty deposits that are a characteristic found in male iguanas.

In General

The slideshow on the right includes a diagram of the general iguanas head, the numbers items of the head are named in the caption, and are described below.

​Tuberculate Scales

Tuberculate scales are small tubular spikes that protrude behind the tympanum, above the front limbs and can come in a variety of colors.


Iguanas have very keen eyesight and can see shapes, shadows, colors and movement at long distances.


The nostril of an iguana is used to breathe and expel excess salts as a result of their digestive process.

​Typanum (Ear)

Iguanas have good hearing and can pick up sounds best in the 500 - 3,000Hz range. 

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