Looking rather stoic, this green iguana was found adjacent to a local marina down in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico a couple of years back. (see also ‘Iguana’). The large ‘blob’ like looking lumps on either side of his head are known as the ‘sub-tympanic shield’. At one time thought to be a protector or shield for the ear drum (tympanum) under which they sit, but more recently it is thought they serve little purpose except to maybe act as a deterrent by making the animal look bigger to a potential threat. The other large lumps, on top of this iguana’s head, are known as ‘brain bumps’. They are nothing to do with the animal’s brain though – they are just fatty tissue deposits, typically found on males of the species.
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