You probably already saw all of the videos of iguanas falling from the trees in Florida.
If you haven’t, take a look at the video below!
HOW COLD IS IT? Lizards are literally falling from the trees in Florida. Thankfully, this guy had some help getting into the sun to warm up. He's gonna be OK!
Posted by WeatherNation on Friday, January 5, 2018
Now, my first reaction when I saw the videos of people toting these massive lizards around was, “WHY!?”
But it’s not as bad as it may seem.
I love all the Bomb Cyclone photos!!! Here’s a video for you – frozen iguana!
Posted by Jenna Isola on Thursday, January 4, 2018
For starters, iguanas aren’t even native to Florida. They are an invasive species. Which basically means some lucky kid got an awesome pet and one day when it got too big, that kid let it go in the wild.
Iguanas are a cold-blooded animal. Just like any other reptile, the temperature affects them in ways we can’t even imagine as warm-blooded animals. This is why you see turtles and lizards sunning themselves on warm days.
When cold-blooded reptiles can’t find warmth, their bodies start slowing down. Think of it as a form of hibernation. Their blood slows, their breathing slows, and their metabolism slows to the point that they almost seem dead.
That immobility is the reason the iguanas started falling from trees in Florida.
It’s typically a defense mechanism and how reptiles survive the cold desert nights.
But don’t worry, it never got cold enough in Florida to freeze these lizards to death.
Just cold enough to make hauling the iguanas into more sunlight and warmth a good idea!
So all of those videos of people carrying the lizards– don’t worry, it’s too cold for them to attack!
But once they warm up, those beasts bite! So get away!!!
Not Just the Lizards
It got cold enough that the sea turtles off the gulf coast even started slowing down!
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rescued more than 100 sea turtles on Thursday that had been stunned by cold temperatures. The stunned turtles, which had been floating or washed ashore, were taken to the Gulf World Marine Institute where they will be kept warm until they can be released back into the Gulf of Mexico.
Posted by WeatherNation on Thursday, January 4, 2018
— MyFWC (@MyFWC) January 5, 2018
For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo