Iguanas Are Freezing & Falling Out Of Trees In Florida

By Kayleigh Roberts
iguana
credit: Grisha459/iStock/GettyImages

It's raining iguanas in South Florida. It's not a plague — unless you're of the opinion that the current cold front sweeping through the United States is a kind of plague of its own, of course.

Temperatures in Florida have dipped into the 30s and 40s, which has an interesting effect on some of the wildlife. Iguanas in the area have been stunned by the cold weather, leaving them unable to hold onto trees or, you know, seem alive in general.

"When the temperature goes down, they literally shut down, and they can no longer hold on to the trees, which is why you get this phenomenon in South Florida that it's raining iguanas," Ron Magill, communications director for Zoo Miami, told The New York Times. (Hover to play.)

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Although the reptiles might seem dead, Magill notes, once the weather warms up, the iguanas can come back to life.

"Even if they look dead as a doornail — they're gray and stiff — as soon as it starts to heat up and they get hit by the sun rays, it's this rejuvenation," he said. "The ones that survive that cold streak are basically passing on that gene."

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In fact, Magill says he expects iguanas to start migrating further north in the coming years as they evolve to better survive colder temperatures.

The more you know.