The reptilians are represented in the Parana by the jacare (Alligator sclerops), and on land by the " iguana " (Teius teguexim, Podinema teguixin), and some species of lizard.
The monitor lizard is popularly known as the goanna, a name derived from the iguana, an entirely different animal.
Of lizards the iguana (Cyclura caudata) is noteworthy.
When unworn the teeth are spatulate and crimped or serrated round the edge, closely resembling those of the existing Central American lizard, Iguana - hence the name Iguanodon (Gr.
Iguana-tooth) proposed by Mantell, the discoverer of this reptile, in 1825.
These fossils, which are now in the British Museum, were interpreted by Dr Mantell, who made comparisons with the skeleton of Iguana, on the erroneous supposition that the resemblance in the teeth denoted some relationship to this existing lizard.
For Basiliscus see Basilisk; Iguana is dealt with under its own heading; allied is Metopoceros cornutus of Hayti.
Alligators and crocodiles are numerous in the lagoons and rivers of the coast and the iguana is to be found everywhere throughout the tropical lowlands, the large black Ctenosura acanthinurus being partly arboreal in habit when full grown.
The saurians are represented on land by several species of lizard, some of them conspicuous for their brilliant colouring, and by the large "iguana," whose flesh is considered a great delicacy.
IGUANA, systematically Iguanidae (Spanish quivalent of Carib iwana), a family of pleurodont lizards, comprising about 50 genera and 300 species.
One of the largest and most widely distributed is the common iguana (Iguana tuberculata), which occurs in the tropical parts of Central and South America and the West Indies, with the closely allied I.
But the favourite resorts of the iguana are trees which overhang the water, into which they let themselves fall with a splash, whatever the height of the tree, and then swim away, or hide at the bottom for many minutes.
"The iguana," says H.
- Head of Iguana rhinolophus.
Along with several other species, notably Ctenosura acanthinura, which is omnivorous, likewise called iguana, the common iguana is much sought after in tropical America; the natives esteem its flesh a delicacy, and capture it by slipping a noose round its neck as it sits in fancied security on the branch of a tree.