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It’s So Cold In Florida Iguanas Are Freezing Solid And Falling Out Of Trees

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 22 Jan 2020 17:50
It's So Cold In Florida Iguanas Are Freezing Solid And Falling Out Of TreesIt's So Cold In Florida Iguanas Are Freezing Solid And Falling Out Of TreesMaxineStreicher/Twitter/Pexels

While the bushfires continue to blaze in Australia, parts of the US are so cold animals are literally freezing.

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Residents living in Miami, Florida, have been warned to watch out for frozen iguanas falling out of trees, as temperatures are expected to drop to abnormally low levels at nighttime.

On Tuesday, January 22, the National Weather Service in Miami said temperatures were expected to drop to between 30°F and 40°F (0-4°C).

The official NWS Miami account tweeted:

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This isn’t something we usually forecast, but don’t be surprised if you see Iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. Brrrr!

Experts said although the creatures may appear dead after their fall, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are, because when reptiles are exposed to cold temperatures, their blood doesn’t move around as quickly, causing them to go stiff and lose their grip on the trees, USA Today reported.

However, this does mean the cold blooded creatures are more likely to wake up when the temperatures rise again.

While these kinds of warnings most certainly sound bizarre to the majority of us, this is nothing new for Florida natives, who are given these kinds of warnings each winter.

In the US state, iguanas are considered to be an invasive species, given the warm temperatures Florida provides for them.

Fortunately, the reptiles aren’t dangerous as far as humans are concerned, however they can be a pest, damaging embankments and footpaths by burrowing long tunnels beneath them.

Male iguanas can grow up to five feet in length, while weighing up to 20lbs, while their female counterparts can lay almost 80 eggs per year, meaning production is pretty high.

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Despite not being regarded as dangerous, wildlife conservationists recommend against touching frozen iguanas because they could thaw unexpectedly and feel threatened if a person comes close to them.

Last year, Kristen Sommers, from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said:

Like any wild animal, it will try and defend itself.

One Florida resident took to Twitter to reveal he’d used a net to scoop a fallen iguana out of his pool and placed it on the side of the pool in a bid to give it a ‘fighting chance’ to survive. That’s the kind of community spirit we like to hear.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Animals, cold, Florida, Iguanas, miami, Reptiles, weather

Credits

USA Today
  1. USA Today

    'Falling iguana' alert issued in Florida due to cold temperatures: 'Don't assume that they're dead'