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.