Reptile Mesa garden at San Diego Zoo

Reptile Mesa

At A Glance

  • Location: Discovery Outpost
  • Reptile Mesa has all kinds of exotic-looking plants (including, appropriately, dragon trees!) from all kinds of exotic locations. The task of maintaining a varied plant collection while creating natural habitats for the animal residents can be challenging. For example, in the green iguana exhibit on Reptile Mesa, the evergreen shrub, Xylosma sp., was selected because it is not a particularly flavorful plant from an iguana's point of view—so, the lizards would not consume it as fast as we planted it, which can often occur. Moreover, this plant is sturdy enough to allow these large-bodied lizards, which can weigh up to 8 or 10 pounds (3 to 5 kilograms), to bask on top of them.

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