Look at this beautiful bright aqua blue Iguana. I can't imagine you could miss this one as it slithers quickly across the hot bricks pool side. You know how hot cement and bricks are on your barefeet? These creatures love heat, in fact if you watch them you'll see they hunker down while resting so their belly touches the pavement. They get as close as they can to the hot surface to absorb as much of the heat at they can. I spotted this one coming towards my chair. Once I got the photo, I moved the chair a bit which caused it to go elsewhere. Thank you very much. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a big animal lover. In fact, I'm afraid of lots and lots of animals and creatures. this one was about 18 inches long.
This big green Iguana was over 2 foot long and apparently likes to have it's picture taken. This is a male, I don't know the gender of the above blue one. You can see this one isn't spotted like the blue one, has a striped tail and thorny spikes along it's back and head. The pouch beneath it's neck area inflates and get's quite large and as I understand it, that's a mark of a male. We saw lots of these creatures in Aruba. Some say they are harmless, and are more afraid of us then we are of them. However, the hotel had a large sign asking people to please not feed them as they do bite. Saw several with their mouths open and they do not look harmless. They look quite intimidating.
This picture while blurred shows you the motion and yet a different color of green. Very bright.
Remember dinosaurs? Surely this one looks prehistoric. This was around 3 feet or so, though not the largest I saw. The largest one was around 4 or more feet; but I didn't have my camera when I saw it. This one is a grayish green, also male.
Two together on the bolders at the edge of the pool. Notice the blue in the upper right corner, those are the umbrellas at the pool. Iguana's are common to Central and South America and The Caribbean. They are, or have been food. Served in stews and soup primarily, but apparently also french fried. Several years back Aruba passed a law prohibited them being on menu's as they were becoming extinct with the huge increase in population in Aruba along with the tourists. And of course the joke always is...it tastes like chicken. Isn't that what everyone always says about unusual food? Legend, folklore whatever you want to call it says eating Iguana Soup gave one strength and virility. It's believed that stems from people thinking The Iguana had 2 penis's. When in fact they have one, that is split...presumably it looked like two.
The colors vary quite a bit and have to do with the age of the Iguana as well as the specific species. Some research indicates there are 7 species in Aruba, the bright green ones are younger then the grayish green ones. They do change color when they feel threatened and camouflage themselves. They eat green leaves and certain fruits. The Marriott, where we stayed had a preserve area for The Iguana's between several buildings, but we found them at the pool as well as there. Periodically, some are trapped and taken to the desert areas so they learn how to fend for themselves and find food. We noticed this practice at a couple of the hotels, so please please please....if you go to Aruba (and I highly recommend you do), DON'T FEED THEM. Well meaning people often want to feed wild creatures and that isn't in their best interest. They then loose their ability to do what comes naturally.
There are also signs that ask people not to chase them, or try to touch them. There are always people who think that sign applies to everyone but them. Saw some of that pool side with 2 young boys...bout 8. I warned them about the sign, parents told me they had told them too, but they weren't listening. One did get scratched, and after that left them alone. If you do come in contact with them, you're instructed to wash your hands very thoroughly as they carry high levels of harmful Salmonella. I kept my beach bag zipped when it was between our chairs, making sure one didn't slither in. We heard several stories about them falling out of trees scaring people near.
*Claudia's Bar in Aruba, best place for Happy Hour
***Aruba, general background