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Iguanas fall from trees as cold snap hits Florida

Image source, Reuters

Iguanas are falling from trees in Florida as the US Sunshine State is hit with unusually cold weather conditions.

In South Florida, temperatures reached a low of -4C (25F) early on Sunday, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

The agency said the region was experiencing some of the coldest temperatures in more than a decade.

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Iguanas are cold blooded and rely on the sun and natural heat from their surroundings to keep warm.

If the reptiles get too cold they can freeze and effectively end up in a coma, causing those resting in trees to lose their grip and fall.

Despite this, most remain alive as they keep breathing and their main body functions still work. They will later thaw out in the sun as temperatures rise again.

Earlier, the NWS warned residents in South Florida to be careful as iguanas “slow down or become immobile”.

“Did you really think with the coldest temperatures in over a decade we would not warn you about falling Iguanas?” the NWS tweeted.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

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Images posted to social media showed several of the lizards laying on the ground on their backs or sides.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

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While unusual, it is not the first time iguanas have plummeted to the ground from trees due to a sharp fall in temperatures in the state, and it can be dangerous if they land on cars or people.

Early on Monday, the NWS reported that temperatures in Miami were expected to rise in the coming hours, with clear skies and sunshine forecast for later in the day.

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