How Fast Can Iguanas Run? Amazing Facts

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Did you know that iguanas can run up to 20 mph? That’s pretty fast for a lizard! In this blog post, we’ll explore some more amazing facts about these incredible creatures.

Whether you’re thinking about getting an iguana as a pet or just curious about these fascinating animals, read on to learn more!

How long can an iguana run?

Iguanas may seem like they move slowly, but those long-tailed lizards can get going!

It might surprise you to learn that an iguana can run their full body length (up to 6 feet!) in less than one second, and can reach a top speed of around 8 miles per hour—not Olympic-level running speeds, but still pretty impressive for a creature with little legs. 

What’s more, iguanas don’t just sprint all out; they’re also adept at endurance running. They’re able to keep up a steady pace of 4-5 mph for several minutes at a time. Pretty cool, huh?

Can a human outrun an iguana?

While the thought of a human outrunning an iguana seems absurd, it is not as impossible as one might think.

An iguana has a top speed of about 3 miles per hour, compared to variables such as wind or altitude, so with the proper technique and endurance, humans may have an advantage. 

Despite being larger and slower than land-speed beasts like cheetahs or greyhounds, an iguana still has its agility and agility is something that humans cannot compete with. Ultimately it all depends on the situation and level of expertise of the human in question, but never count them out!

Can iguanas run on two legs?

Believe it or not, iguanas can run on two legs – but usually just for short distances or when they’re feeling particularly threatened.

Most of the time, they lumber along on all fours – kind of like an awkward sprint! But when these curious creatures need a quick getaway, they often have no choice but to rely on their burst of speed. 

It’s also interesting to note that iguanas are one of the few lizards which climb trees and love lounging in high branches – so their acrobatic ability may come in handy from time to time. All in all, these creatures can be quite a sight to behold!

Are marine iguanas fast?

Marine iguanas may not look like much, but they’re quite fast! These sea-dwelling lizards have adapted to a swift swimming style to help them catch prey in the ocean. They can outswim nearly any other animal in their habitat, and only the occasional shark can catch up with them. 

Not only that, but marine iguanas are also surprisingly agile on land. With scaly tails and claws designed for balance on slippery rocks, it’s easy to see why they can move much faster than you’d expect.

So while they may not be speed champions in the animal kingdom, marine iguanas certainly have their special way of getting around!

Are iguanas the fastest animal?

Iguanas may not be the fastest animal in terms of land speed, but they aren’t too shabby! The spiked tail of an adult iguana is one of the most powerful limbed appendage accelerators on Earth, with the ability to go from completely still to moving up to 10 miles per hour within seconds. 

Iguanas are also surprisingly adept swimmers, with reports of some capable of reaching speeds of up to 7 miles per hour in water. In addition to that, their impressive leaping and dodging abilities grant them enough ninja-like agility to deftly evade or catch speedy prey!

So although there’s no doubt that cheetahs certainly have them beat when it comes to land speed, for whatever reason iguanas need a getaway from their predators -they know just how fast they need to be!

How do iguanas move?

Iguanas have an interesting way of moving around; they grip the ground and push it behind them as they move, almost like they are pushing themselves forward with their feet.

This is known as a “graupel” gait, which is like a sideways waddle and creates that classic side-to-side swing you see when iguanas walk. 

Some iguanas also have powerful claws that help them climb on all kinds of surfaces, such as rocks and tree branches.

When threatened or excited, iguanas can sprint up to speeds of 18 mph! This remarkable speed helps the reptiles escape predators or investigate any potential threats quickly and efficiently.

It’s pretty amazing how these creatures can move so effortlessly, but it is thanks to their unique graupel gait and powerful claws!


Iguanas are some seriously speedy creatures- not only can they run up to 33 miles per hour, but they’re also excellent swimmers.

If you find yourself being chased by one of these lizards, the best thing to do is just stand still and let them speed on. And next time you’re out for a run, remember that iguanas have got you beat! Who knew such amazing creatures lived right in our backyards?

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Nelson Knox

Nelson Knox

Hello there!
My name is Nelson Knox, and I'm a 37-year-old lizard grower from Oklahoma.
I live with my girlfriend Lillian and our 2 lizards, Ringo & Star, and we spend our days exploring their fascinating world. We love to watch them hunt for bugs, bask in the sun, and enjoy life generally!

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