Sunday, May 15

It’s “raining” iguanas in Florida: affected by the cold snap, the frozen animals fall from the trees (video)

The cold wave that affects the entire east coast of the United States sometimes has surprising consequences… Here in Florida, it is a particular phenomenon that occurs: a rain of iguanas. The animals, which sleep in the trees, freeze when temperatures are below 4°C, and eventually fall. Surprising!

The cold snap hitting the east coast of the United States spares no one, not even the iguanas. In Florida, iguana “rains” are a common occurrence when temperatures are below 4°C. This has already happened in 2010 but also in 2020. Stacey Cohen, reptile expert and zoologist at the Palm Beach zoo explains the mechanism of this particular phenomenon: “Their bodies begin to shut down when they lose their functions. And so they sleep in the trees on the branches, and then because it’s so cold, they lose that ability to hold on. And then they fall from the trees.”

In this state, everything is done to preserve these reptiles as much as possible. This is why Brian Shields, American meteorologist, warned about this phenomenon this Sunday: “Possible iguana falls this weekend, especially Sunday”, he wrote on his Twitter account. “They slow down (their organism) or become immobile when it is below 4°C. They may fall from the trees, but they are not dead”, he reassures.

Alert message sent by the Miami Weather Service. “Rain of iguanas this morning. They slow down (their organism) or become immobile when it’s less than 4°C. They can fall from trees, but they are not dead” © Reuters

As Stacey Cohen explains, iguanas do not tolerate negative temperatures since they are native to South America, unlike other reptiles native to the United States. This is what would explain the reaction of their organism as soon as the temperatures drop.

The iguanas would even recover fairly quickly from this partial freeze when the temperatures rise, according to several experts. Under no circumstances should an iguana immobilized by the cold be rescued.

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