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It's so cold in Florida, iguanas are falling from trees

An iguana that froze lies near a pool after falling from a tree in Boca Raton, Fla., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. Itâ\u0080\u009A\u0080\u0099s so cold in Florida that iguanas are falling from their perches in suburban trees. (Frank Cerabino/Palm Beach Post via AP) FLPAP201
Published Jan. 4, 2018

MIAMI BEACH — It's so cold in Florida that iguanas are falling from their perches in suburban trees.

Temperatures dipped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit early Thursday in parts of South Florida, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.

That's chilly enough to immobilize green iguanas common in Miami's suburbs.

Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino tweeted a photograph of an iguana lying belly-up next to his swimming pool. WPEC-TV posted images of an iguana on its back on a Palm Beach County road.

The cold-blooded creatures native to Central and South America — an invasive species in Florida known for eating through landscaping and digging burrows that undermine infrastructure — start to get sluggish when temperatures fall below 50, said Kristen Sommers, who oversees the nonnative fish and wildlife program for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. If temperatures drop below that, iguanas freeze up.

Well-meaning residents finding stiffened iguanas are advised to leave them alone, as they may feel threatened and bite once they warm up.

"Don't assume that they're dead," Sommers said.

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