It’s so cold in South Florida, iguanas are falling from trees! When temperatures dip iguanas drop! They simply can’t hold on to the branches. “They’ll fall out of trees. They’ll end up in areas where your cars are, parking lots, areas where they’re cold stunned,” said Emily Maple. Emily Maple is the head “reptile keeper” at the Palm Beach County Zoo, and she pointed out that the iguanas are a cold blooded invasive species and basically they freeze when it gets below 45 degrees. Then they fall out of trees. And most people who see them just assume that they are dead. One funny gag going on in Miami is that young people are pranking their friends. One young man named Jack report that “some people put them in their friends cars and when they come back to life they freak them out!” Funny unless you’re driving at the time!
In case you’re living in a cave the “bomb cyclone” is impacting the entire east coast with freezing temperatures! And it ain’t over yet! But this was unexpected unintended consequence of the cold in Florida is one of the more bizarre ‘fall outs’ of the extreme weather.
“If it’s just for a day or two they’ll just get to where they’re completely frozen in time. They’re still able to breathe. They’re still able to do bodily functions just very slow,” said Maple. “Once it gets above 50 degrees they’ll start to activate and move around,” she added. Iguanas, which can be as long as six feet, are not native to South Florida.said Ron Magill, communications director for Zoo Miami said that Iguanas climb up trees to roost at night and that, “When the temperature goes down, they literally shut down, and they can no longer hold on to the trees,” he said. “Which is why you get this phenomenon in South Florida that it’s raining iguanas.”
“Even if they look dead as a doornail — they’re gray and stiff — as soon as it starts to heat up and they get hit by the sun rays, it’s this rejuvenation,” he said. “The ones that survive that cold streak are basically passing on that gene.”
And it’s not just iguanas that are impacted, as CBS News affiliate KHOU-TV in Galveston Texasreports National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) workers have rescued 50 sea turtles so far. Experts say sea turtles that become stunned by cold weather float to the surface because they’re too cold to swim, and they become “dehydrated because they’ve been floating on the surface for a few days,” Ben Higgins, sea turtle program manager, told KHOU-TV.”We are the ones that push these animals to the brink of extinction, so we have an obligation to at least step in and help (and) try and restore their numbers,” Higgins said.