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What Eats Iguanas? (31 Animals with Pictures)

What Eats Iguanas

Examples of animals that eat iguanas include badgers, bald eagles, bass, bobcats, and coyotes.

Iguanas are commonly found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. These lizards can grow up to six feet long and weigh up to 9 pounds. Iguanas are herbivores, but there are some animals that prey on these reptiles.

Due to their size and ferocity, it is usually young, weak, or injured iguanas that will fall prey to predators, while the larger ones will remain untouched.

Here is a list of some animals that eat iguanas and why they eat them.

Examples of Animals that Eat Iguanas

1. Alligators

American Alligator
Scientific NameAlligator
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangethe United States and China

Alligators are one of the main predators of iguanas. These reptiles will eat just about anything that they can get their mouths on, including iguanas. Alligators will often times attack and eat iguanas that are basking in the sun or swimming in the water.

2. Badgers

badger
Scientific NameMeles meles
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeprimarily in the Great Plains region of North America

Badgers are another animal that will prey on iguanas. These animals are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever is available to them. Baby, iguanas make a good meal for badgers since they are slow and easy to catch.

3. Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle
Scientific NameHaliaeetus leucocephalus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America, including most of Canada

Bald eagles are one of the most common predators of iguanas. These birds of prey typically hunt for food near water sources, and iguanas often bask near rivers and streams. Bald eagles will swoop down and grab a baby iguana with their talons, then fly away to their nest to eat it.

4. Bass

largemouth bass
Scientific NameMicropterus salmoides
Type of AnimalFish
RangeWorldwide

Bass are another common predator of baby iguanas. These fish often live in the same waterways as iguanas, and they eat a variety of prey items, including lizards. Bass will often ambush an unsuspecting young iguana, quickly snatch it up, and swallow it whole.

5. Boa

Boas
Scientific NameBoa constrictor
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangenorthern Mexico to Argentina

Boa constrictors have been known to eat even adult iguanas – partly because a boa is not fussy at all about what it eats. These snakes will coil around their prey and squeeze until the iguana suffocates. Juvenile boas typically eat smaller lizards, such as anoles or geckos.

Related Article: Can You Own Boa Constrictors as Pet?

6. Bobcats

bobcat
Scientific NameLynx rufus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangefrom southern Canada, down through the USA to northern Mexico

Bobcats are predators that feed on a variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Young iguanas can provide an easy meal for bobcats since they are slow and relatively defenseless, but bobcats are likely to avoid the larger iguanas they come across.

Related Article: Do Bobcat Eat Lizards?

7. Cats

Manx Cat
Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Iguanas are sometimes kept as pets, and if a cat gets ahold of one, it will likely kill and eat it. Cats are predators by nature and see baby iguanas as prey, much in the same way that they’ll eat common geckos and lizards around the house.

8. Coatis

Coati
Scientific NameNasua nasua
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth, Central, and South America, ranging from Arizona to Argentina

Coatis are omnivorous animals that feed on a variety of items, including insects, fruits, and small reptiles. Iguanas are an easy meal for coatis and are a good source of protein.

9. Coyotes

coyote
Scientific NameCanis latrans
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlaska southward into Central America, but especially on the Great Plains

Coyotes are members of the dog family and are found in North and Central America. Coyotes will eat just about anything, but they do prefer to hunt small mammals like rabbits and rodents. Iguanas are sometimes on the menu for these predators. Coyotes will typically kill an iguana by biting its neck.

10. Crocodiles

Saltwater Crocodile
Scientific NameCrocodylidae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeAfrica, Asia, Australia, and the Americas

Crocodiles are large, predatory reptiles that live in Africa, Asia and North and South America. Crocodiles will eat anything they can catch, including fish, amphibians, birds and mammals. Iguanas are sometimes preyed upon by these animals.

11. Dogs

Maremma Sheepdog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Dogs are the most common predators of iguanas. Dogs will eat iguanas both as a food source and as a way to control the lizard populations in their territory. Dogs typically prey on juvenile iguanas, which are easier to catch than adults.

In fact, dogs are often used in the hunting of iguanas much in the same way dogs are used to hunt foxes in England.

12. Egrets

egret
Scientific NameMesophoyx
Type of AnimalBird
RangeThe United States and southern Canada

Egrets are wading birds that live near bodies of water. These birds can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia. Egrets eat a variety of things, including fish, frogs, lizards, and iguanas. Iguanas are an easy meal for egrets since they are slow and docile animals.

13. Feral Pigs

Feral Pigs
Scientific NameSus scrofa
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Feral pigs are a type of wild pig that typically lives in wooded areas. These animals are found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Feral pigs will eat just about anything, including iguanas. Iguanas are not fast enough to escape from these predators, so they often become a meal.

Related Article: Are Pigs Dirty Animals?

14. Golden Eagles

golden eagle
Scientific NameAquila chrysaetos
Type of AnimalBird
RangeMexico through much of western North America as far north as Alaska

Golden eagles are large birds of prey that live in North America, Europe, and Asia. These birds have a wingspan of up to 7 feet and can weigh up to 15 pounds. Golden eagles eat a variety of animals, including rabbits, squirrels, and iguanas. Iguanas are not the preferred food of golden eagles, but these birds will eat them if they are available.

15. Grey Fox

Argentine Gray Fox
Scientific NameUrocyon cinereoargenteus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Canada into most of the United States and into Mexico

The grey fox is a medium-sized fox that is found in North America. This animal is the only known predator of the green iguana. The grey fox preys on young iguanas and can kill an adult iguana with ease. The grey fox has sharp claws and teeth that it uses to tear apart its prey.

16. Ground Lizards

Armadillo Girdled Lizard
Scientific NameTeiidae
Type of AnimalReptile
Range the Caribbean island of Dominica

Ground lizards are one of the main predators of iguanas. These lizards hunt in packs and can take down an iguana that is twice their size. Ground lizards will eat any part of the iguana, but they prefer the meat from the legs and tail.

17. Harpy Eagle

Harpy Eagle
Scientific NameHarpia harpyja
Type of AnimalBird
RangePanama, close to the border with Colombia

The harpy eagle is the largest raptor in the Americas. These birds of prey can weigh up to 18 pounds and have a wingspan of 7 feet. The harpy eagle preys on a variety of animals, including monkeys, sloths, and iguanas. They typically ambush their prey from above, using their powerful talons to kill them.

18. Harris’s Hawks

Harris's Hawk
Scientific NameParabuteo unicinctus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethroughout much of the Americas

Harris’s Hawks are a type of raptor that is found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. These predators will target iguanas as part of their diet. Harris’s Hawks have been known to kill and eat iguanas that are as large as four feet long. The hawks hunt in teams, working together to take down their prey. They do this by circling the iguana until it is tired, then attacking it.

19. Herons

heron
Scientific NameArdeidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

Herons are a type of wading bird that is found in many parts of the world including South America. These birds typically eat small fish, but they will also prey on iguanas. Herons will often wait near water sources where iguanas come to drink and then attack them.

20. Humans

Humans
Scientific NameHomo sapiens
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide

Iguanas are often hunted and eaten by humans. They are considered a delicacy in many countries and can be found in restaurants throughout Central and South America. Iguanas are also used for their skin, which is made into belts, bags, and shoes. The meat of the iguana is high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthy and popular food choice.

21. Jaguars

jaguar
Scientific NamePanthera onca
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSouth America to almost the far north in Argentina

The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas and is one of the few animals that regularly prey on iguanas. Jaguars are found in the rainforests of Central and South America. These cats can grow up to six feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds. Jaguars hunt by stalking their prey and then pouncing on them.

Related Article: Do Jaguars Eat Snakes?

22. Margay

Margay
Scientific NameLeopardus wiedii
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America

The margay is a species of wild cat that is found in the rainforests of Central and South America. This cat is nocturnal and solitary, meaning it only comes out at night and prefers to hunt alone. The margay is an agile climber and can even climb trees head-first! This ability allows the margay to catch iguanas that are basking in the trees.

23. Mountain Lions

mountain lion
Scientific NamePuma concolor
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe western U.S., as well as western Canada and much of Mexico

Mountain lions are the largest predators of iguanas. These large cats hunt in packs and can take down an iguana weighing up to 15 pounds. Iguanas are not the only thing on the menu for mountain lions; they will also eat deer, rabbits, and other small animals.

24. Osprey

osprey
Scientific NamePandion haliaetus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCentral and South America

These large birds of prey are found near bodies of water all over the world. Ospreys primarily eat fish, but they will also hunt other small animals including iguanas. These birds will swoop down and snatch an iguana off the ground or out of a tree. Ospreys will then take their prey back to their nest where they will eat it.

25. Owls

Barn Owl
Scientific NameStrigiformes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide

Owls are nocturnal predators that hunt by ear. Their large eyes and ears help them locate their prey in the dark. Iguanas make up a small part of an owl’s diet, but they will eat them if they can catch them.

26. Pike

Pike
Scientific NameEsox lucius
Type of AnimalFish
RangeNorth America

The pike is a large fish that lives in freshwater ecosystems all over the world. These predators can grow up to six feet long and weigh up to 45 pounds. Pike are carnivores and feed on a variety of animals, including snakes, frogs, and small mammals. Iguanas are an easy target for these fish, especially when they are young. Pike will consume the entire iguana, including the head, tail, and skin.

27. Raccoons

Crab-Eating Raccoon
Scientific NameProcyon lotor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

Raccoons are common predators of iguanas in the wild. These animals are nocturnal, so they are most likely to hunt iguanas at night. Raccoons have sharp claws and teeth that they use to kill and eat their prey. Iguanas are relatively slow-moving creatures, so they make easy targets for raccoons. Raccoons also scavenge for food, so they may eat iguanas that have already been killed by other predators.

Related Article: Is Crab-Eating Raccoon Semi-Aquatic Animal?

28. Red-Tailed Hawks

Red-Tailed Hawks
Scientific NameButeo jamaicensis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeall over the continent, in Central America, and in the West Indies

Red-tailed hawks are a common predator of iguanas. These hawks hunt by soaring high in the sky and looking for their prey below. When they spot an iguana, they swoop down and catch it with their talons. The hawks then take the iguana to a perch where they can eat it safely.

29. Vultures

vulture
Scientific NameCathartes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAsia, Africa, and Europe

Vultures are large birds that feed mostly on carrion. Iguanas are an important part of the vulture’s diet in some areas. Vultures will wait for an iguana to die and then eat the carcass. These birds have strong stomach acids that help them digest the tough iguana skin and bones.

Related Article: What Eats Vultures?

30. Wedge-Tailed Eagle

Wedge-Tailed Eagles
Scientific NameAquila audax
Type of AnimalBird
Rangemainland Australia

The Wedge-tailed Eagle is a large bird of prey that is found in Australia. These birds can have a wingspan of up to 9 feet and they weigh up to 15 pounds. The Wedge-tailed Eagle preys on a variety of animals, but iguanas are one of their favorite foods. These eagles will swoop down and snatch an iguana off the ground. They will then take the lizard back to their nest and eat it.

31. White-Tailed Eagle

White-Tailed Eagle
Scientific NameHaliaeetus albicilla
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, southwestern Greenland, the Middle East, Russia (including Siberia), and the coastlands of China

The white-tailed eagle is a large bird of prey that is found in North America, Europe, and Asia. These eagles typically eat fish, but they will also prey on small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The white-tailed eagle is the only eagle that hunts and eats iguanas. They typically attack by swooping down on the iguana and grabbing it in their talons. The eagle then takes the iguana to a perch and eats it.

Conclusion

Iguanas are preyed upon by a variety of animals, including coyotes, crocodiles, dogs, bears, and bass. These predators kill iguanas in different ways, but all of them share the common goal of eating the lizard. Iguanas have evolved defenses against some predators, but they are still vulnerable to attack.

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