Cayman is home to some unique wildlife and with our Botanical Gardens and Butterfly farm you have more reason than ever to come visit. Here is a few of the unique creatures that inhabit our island.
The Blue Iguana or Grand Cayman iguana (cyclura lewisi) is a critically endangered species of lizard of the genus Cyclura endemic to the island of Grand Cayman. Previously listed as a subspecies of the Cuban Iguana, it was reclassified as a separate species in 2004 because of genetic differences discovered four years earlier. The Blue Iguana is one of the longest-living species of lizard (possibly up to 69 years).
The Blue Iguana prefers dwelling in rocky, sunlit, open areas in dry forests or near the shore, as the females must dig holes in the sand to lay eggs in June and July. The Blue Iguana’s vegetarian diet includes plants, fruits, and flowers. Its coloration is tan to gray with a bluish cast that is more pronounced during the breeding season and more so in males. It is large and heavy bodied with a dorsal crest of short spines running from the base of the neck to the end of the tail.
The Cuban Amazon, Amazona leucocephala, also known as Cayman Parrot of the Rose-throated Parrot, is a medium-sized green parrot fround in woodlands and dry forests of Cuba, the Bahamas and Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.
The Cayman Parrot is a medium-sized parrot 28 – 33 centimetres (11 – 13 in) long. It is mainly green with some blue feathers on its wings. Its chin, throat and lower face are pinkish and its forehead and eye rings are white. The colours of the head vary between the populations on different islands and between subspecies. Its beak is hom-coloured and the feathers over the ears are blackish. The abdomen of the adult is dull red. The juvenile has little or no red on the abdomen and less pink on the chin, neck and face.
Cayman’s Turtle Farm helps preserve these creatures everyday by releasing 3/4 of our turtles back to the wild. Sea turtles are almost always submerging but breathe air. With a single explosive exhalation and rapid inhalation, sea turtles can quickly refill their lungs when they surface. Their lungs have adapted to permit rapid exchange of oxygen and to avoid trapping gasses during deep dives. During routine activity, green and logerhead turtles dive for about 4 to 5 minutes and surface to breathe for 1 to 3 seconds.
Turtles can rest or sleep underwater for several hours at a time but submergence time is much shorter while hunting or to escape predators. Activity and stress affect breath-holding ability, which is why turtles drown in shrimp trawls and other fishing gear within a relatively short time. Turtles must emerge while breeding, given the extra level of activity.
Ever pet a stingray in an aquarium? How about petting a few dozen while wading in the Caribbean? The Stingray City Sandbar is one of the top Cayman attractions and a must-do on your Grand Cayman vacation. Stingray City is home to a whole fleet of southern stingrays who congregate near the shore.
The stingrays began gathering in the area decades ago when fisherman used to clean fish on the shallow sand bars. The stingrays would forget their normally shy dispositions and feast on the guts of the cleaned fish. Soon the stingrays began to associate the sound of a boat motor with food. In the late 1980s, divers started feeding squid to the stingrays, one of their favourites.
Today, Stingray City is a readily accessible, once-in-a-lifetime Grand Cayman experience for anyone who wishes to see one of nature’s most majestic creatures up close.
As you enter the clear waters, the graceful southern stingrays glide tranquilly past in their natural habitat. Experience the majestic wildlife of Grand Cayman diving, standing in only three feet of water. At any time, you could be surrounded by more than two dozen friendly stingrays. An experience in Stingray City is unlike any other brush with sea life and is sure to make your Cayman Islands vacation unforgettable.
To get to Stingray City, we highly recommend Cayman Boat Charters.