- 40:278 year(s):day(s)
- Australia (Beerwah)
A rhino iguana (Cyclura cornuta) called Rhino (b. 23 February 1980) living at Australia Zoo in Queensland, Australia, was aged 40 years 278 days as of 27 November 2020. Rhino was born at Taronga Zoo in Sydney before being transferred to Australia Zoo on 23 November 1993.
This almost doubles the age of the previous greatest lifespan on record for rhino iguanas of just under 23 years old. In 1992, a report of reptile longevity records compiled by herpetologist Frank Slavens (then the reptile curator at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington, USA) included a wild-born male specimen aged 22 years 11 months at the Life Fellowship Bird Sanctuary in Seffner, Florida, USA. Another was documented in 1977 aged 22 years 8 months in California, USA.
Rhino iguanas are native to the Caribbean, where they are found largely on the island of Hispaniola (shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti). Their name comes from a "pseudo-horn" (which in fact is a scaly outgrowth) found on their snouts (more prominent in males) that is reminiscent of a rhinoceros' distinguishing feature. It is not known for certain what purpose the "horn" serves, but may be for attracting mates during head-bobbing displays as well as fighting between males.
The average lifespan for the rhino iguana in captivity is considered to be around 16 or 17 years, though some researchers have postulated that in the wild it could be possible for members of the Cyclura (rock iguana) genus to live to 75-80 years old!