Warning Issued In Florida As Frozen Iguanas “Rain Down” From Trees

Much of the U.S. and Canada have been hit with a cold blast that’s caused widespread devastation and emergency efforts in areas like Buffalo, New York, and surrounding areas.

While areas in the South were hit much lighter than New York State, even the warmest states haven’t escaped the cold.

Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

Texas once again experienced freezing temperatures, ice, and snow, and in Florida, temperatures dipped well below freezing.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that temperatures dropped down into the 20s over Christmas weekend.

As temperatures begin to warm up, the state is facing an unusual issue: large iguanas are falling from trees.

Because iguanas are cold-blooded, when temperatures plummet below freezing, their bodies free and they become trapped in the trees where they’re perched. However, once the weather starts to turn, those frozen iguanas start warming back up and fall from the trees as a result.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission notes that green iguanas can grow over 5ft long and weigh up to 17 pounds. That large of a creature plummeting from a tree could do some serious damage.

Photo: Pixabay/Scottslm

According to the Washington Post, Martha Muñoz, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University, said:

“You change the environment, and the organisms that are going to feel it first and hardest are the ectotherms [coldblooded animals] because their entire fitness is thermally dependent.”

Photo: Pixabay/Dimitris Vetsikas

Ron Magill with the Miami Zoo added, “With each year when we get a cold streak, I see less and less of those iguanas falling out of trees and being cold-stunned … and it’s not because there are less and less iguanas. It’s just indicative that these animals are, in fact, adapting. Less and less of them are succumbing to this type of temperature differential.”

If you happen to be in Florida, be sure to stay alert and be on the lookout for falling objects (or animals), especially when walking under trees!

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