Endangered Species:The Rhinocerous Iguana

Essay by Plagerizer2004Junior High, 9th grade May 2004

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The Rhinoceros Iguana

Taxonomy and Evolutionary History

The scientific name for the rhinoceros iguana is Cyclura cornuta. The Cyclura cornuta is the Animalia kingdom, the chordate phylum, and the reptile class. The evolutionary history of reptiles is from the extinct reptiles, which are the dinosaur, pterosaur, and the ichthyosaur. The rhinoceros iguana is in the squamta order and in lacertilian suborder. The Cyclura cornuta is in the iguanidae family, and its genus and species is obviously Cyclura and Cornuta. However, some scientists believe that the Cyclura cornuta has a few sub-species, such as the Mona Island Ground Iguana, so the correct name for the rhinoceros iguana is Cyclura cornuta cornuta. They say this because of the differences in their scales and reproduction between the two animals. Also, the Mona Island ground iguana will eat different food than the Hispaniola Iguana because of the different types of vegetation and animals found on the islands.

Many species around the West Indies arrived there because of huge hurricane winds.

Natural Habitat and Geographic Range

The Cyclura cornuta's geographic range is on the Hispaniola Island. The Hispaniola Island is found in the Caribbean Sea. Few iguanas go to the other Caribbean islands. They need a lot of UV from the sun, and therefore rely on their islands sub-tropical biome. Although the rhinoceros iguana is able to climb, they will usually live on the ground which is how they learned the name "Ground Iguana." Rhinoceros ground iguanas sleep in their burrows, which are kept in the ground. The Cyclura cornuta needs to stay in the sun for a large portion of the day, for it is cold-blooded. The location of the sun basking spot is critical for the iguana. Therefore, they might climb off the ground in order to find a better sun...