TAIL WHIP

Animal Scene - - ANIMAL APPEAL -

Be­sides their sharp teeth, an iguana’s main de­fense is their pow­er­ful tail whip. Their tails cover the ma­jor­ity of their length, of­ten stretch­ing to dou­ble the size of their main body. As ba­bies and ju­ve­niles, it is com­mon for them to be skit­tish and for them to con­stantly tail whip any­thing and ev­ery­thing that makes them feel un­safe. These at­tacks can be com­pared to light flicks on your skin; how­ever, be wary of an adult’s tail whip for it will lit­er­ally feel like an ac­tual whip, leav­ing a nasty sting.

Sim­i­lar to other rep­tiles, like geckos and bearded dragons, an iguana’s tail can eas­ily fall off. This is called au­to­tomy or self­am­pu­ta­tion. This can be caused by whip­ping on a par­tic­u­larly hard sur­face, hav­ing it forcibly pulled, or be­ing held or stepped on. The good news is that they can grow their tails back. How­ever, it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult and painful that some stop grow­ing dur­ing the heal­ing process since it re­quires a lot of en­ergy, pro­tein, and nu­tri­ents. Even if the tail does grow back, they’re never the same as be­fore.

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