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9 illuminating facts about iguanas

By: Catie Leary on Jan. 22, 2020, 10:39 a.m.
The long tail of the iguana is often used for self-defense.

Photo: Tatiana Liubarskaya/Shutterstock

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Iguanas can hold their own in a fight

Iguanas use their tail for balance while climbing and maneuvering, but these long appendages serve yet another purpose — self-defense.

When encountering a predator or other threat, the iguana will distract and bewilder its attacker by thrashing its tail. Sometimes the tail will break off and the creature is able to make a quick getaway. (Don't worry, the tail grows back later.)

In the event that a predator tries to eat an iguana, its tail is equipped with spiky spinal combs that makes it a difficult meal to swallow.