The “Old Man Lizard” is more commonly known as the Helmeted Iguana and is a popular local lizard for its unique looks and docile demeanor. As they rely almost exclusively on their camouflage for defense, they will sit amazingly still, even when approached.
The “old man” reference comes from the apparent gray “beard” made by the frills around its neck and throat which give the animal a scruffy appearance. They’ll grow to over a foot long, with half their length in their tail. Their most distinctive feature, however, is their crest which they can raise – while also puffing out their throat scales – when excited. Males have significantly larger crests than do females.
The animals are found throughout Central American forests (Mexico to Columbia) and are generally found in and among trees where they’ll often rest looking straight up the stem. Like many iguanas and casque lizards they eat insects, arachnids, worms and smaller lizards. In some regions of the world, they are a popular house pet.