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A large lizard with a high heritage value
Long hunted for its flesh or to be stuffed, the Lesser Antillean iguana (Iguana delicatissima) can reach - without the tail - 17 inches (43.4 cm) in males and 15.7 inches (40.1 cm) in females for a respective weight of 9 and 5.7 lbs (4.1 and 2.6 kg). It retains a strong heritage value in the West Indies, where it is endemic. Martinique, whose Caribbean name Iouanacaera means the island of iguanas, has scattered populations of the reptiles with limited numbers outside of Chancel islet. This polygamous species essentially occupies forest habitats from sea level to 984 or even 1,312 ft (300 or 400 m) of altitude in the north of the island. All environments, dry (dry forests, backshore thickets) or wet (ponds, lagoons, mangroves, gullies), are suitable for it as long as they have a wooded or at least shrubby layer. Mainly diurnal and arboreal, the Lesser Antillean iguana can remain on the ground for varying periods of time, depending on its surrounding environment. A generalist vegetarian, it consumes leaves, flowers, and fruits from a wide variety of trees and bushes and plays an important role in the dissemination of seeds through its diet.
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