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Florida iguanas likely to fall from trees as Arctic chill sweeps US Christmas weekend

Forecasters in Florida are warning of falling iguanas as an Arctic cold front sweeping across the U.S. will likely bring a “hard freeze” to parts of the Sunshine State on Christmas weekend.

Temperatures in Northeast Florida may dip into the low 20s inland and near 30 along the coast, the National Weather Service in Jacksonville said Monday.

The cold-blooded lizards start to get sluggish when temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As temperatures drop lower, iguanas become stiff, with those perching in trees often falling to the ground.

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While the low temperatures stun the invasive reptiles, the iguanas won’t necessarily die. That means many will wake up as temperatures rise.

Green iguanas are an invasive species and are not native to the Sunshine State, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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Iguanas aren’t dangerous or aggressive to humans, but they damage seawalls, sidewalks, landscape foliage and can dig lengthy tunnels. The males can grow to at least 5 feet long and weigh nearly 20 pounds.

The incoming arctic air mass is expected to blow the coldest air of the season across much of the U.S. in the days ahead of Christmas, bringing dangerously cold temperatures and threatening treacherous travel conditions for the holidays.

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