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Posted by Micah on June 24, 2002 at 02:59:56:
In Reply to: Need info on these two lizards, please help... posted by Adam Harris on May 30, 2002 at 20:31:38:
Both of the species you mentioned are extremely difficult captives for a rookie. Iguanas are notorious for suffering from metabolic bone disease, a condition that results in soft bones that may break easily or grow crooked. MBD is usually caused by insufficient amounts of vitamin d3. Iguanas manufacture d3 when exposed to natural sunlight. in captivity, they must be provided with a high concentration UV bulb, a special kind of fluorecent light bulb sold at most pet stores. These can be very expensive and usually only remain effective for about 4 months. without such a bulb, you're iguana will not grow properly and will soon begin to decline. Iguanas also require very specific diets to remain healthy. on a final note, iguanas, especially males, can be very very aggressive. during breeding season, you're ig may suddenly become very hard to control, even if he was fairly tame before the onset of breeding time. a full grown iguana is capable of doing serious damage, not just by biting, but also by clawing, and lashing out with their tails. Savs share many of the same qualities igs do. UV requirements, a very large living space, and a tendancy towards aggression.
if you are new to reptile keeping, i would suggest a different animal for your first attempt at keeping lizards. Leopard geckos, anoles, and curly-tails all make excellent choices for beginners. they are interesting, fun to observe, and fairly hardy. they may not be as large and impressive as igs or savs, but they are much less demanding and will probably do much much better for you than will something as dependant on you as a sav or ig. whatever you choose to do, i hope everything works out for you. welcome to the wonderful world of herpetoculture!