Southwest Floridians aren’t the only ones in shock over the impending chill. Widespread 40s Thursday morning could send local lizards and iguanas into “cold shock”, causing them to fall from their perches on tree branches.
According to a study at the University of Miami in 2020, “When it gets below 45 degrees, lizards get so cold that they lose the ability to move their limbs. Then, if the tree branch moves, they fall to the ground. While the fall may cause the lizard to die, they are usually not dead when they fall. And unless it gets below freezing, they aren’t frozen either.”
Not all of Southwest Florida will drop below 45°, however. The best likelihood will be in Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades and Hendry counties. If you live in an area dropping to or below 45°, be prepared for the potential for falling reptiles.
We'll wake up to 50s in the morning with widespread 40s on Thursday! The coolest we've been so far this season is 51° in Fort Myers. Thursday will mark the chilliest temperatures going back to January. #flwx pic.twitter.com/AsaSOUEBG8— Katie Walls (@KatieWallsTV) December 5, 2023
If you do see a lizard stunned by cold, leave it be. Unless the lizard is injured in the fall, as soon as temperatures climb out of the mid-40s, the reptiles will wake up and scurry away.