Despite appearances, those rubbery reptiles lounging lifelessly around southern Florida are probably not dead. They’re just stunned from the cold.
Green iguanas have been falling from trees recently, their frozen bodies immobilized by temperatures that plunged profoundly for the region.
Like all reptiles, iguanas are coldblooded animals that become immobile once the weather dips below 40 degrees.
alm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino tweeted a photograph of an iguana he found Thursday morning lying belly-up next to his swimming pool.
“It’s so cold in Florida that … palm trees are dropping more frozen iguanas than coconuts,” he later wrote in a cheeky column that provided fellow Floridians with one-liners they could use in conversation with friends battling blizzards and sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast.
Maxine Bentzel, a reporter for CBS News 12 in Palm Beach, also posted photos of frozen iguanas to social media. In one tweet, she noted the animals have “a good chance of thawing out if you move them in the sun.”
But wildlife experts advised people to simply leave the lizards alone, saying reptiles may feel threatened and try to bite people once they warm up.