Chameleon Facts

Chameleon Facts
Chameleon is a type of lizard. There are around 160 species of chameleons which can be found mostly on the Madagascar (half of all species live there), in the Africa, southern Europe, south Asia and Sri Lanka. Some chameleon species are endangered due to habitat loss and destruction and because they are sold as pets.
Interesting Chameleon Facts:
Chameleons vary in size. Smallest chameleon is Brookesia micra, which reaches 0.6 inches in length. Biggest chameleon is Furcifer oustaleti, which reaches 30 inches in length.
Chameleons prefer life in the forest and they adapted to the arboreal locomotion (movement in the trees). Their toes are divided in two groups of two or three toes on each foot, which help them grab the branch and achieve stability during walking. Chameleons move slowly, using one limb at the time.
Chameleons also use their long tail when moving in the trees to grab a branch and secure their position (to accomplish balance when necessary).
Chameleons have unique eyes, which can move separately from each other and achieve visual field of 180 degrees. This way chameleon can watch in two different directions at the same time and detect objects on the opposite sides. Eyes move rotationally and together provide visual field of 360 degrees.
Chameleons have very good eyesight and they are able to detect small insects that are 5 to 10 meters away. They are also able to detect ultraviolet light.
Chameleons do not have ear opening or outer ears, but they are not deaf. They can detect sounds in the frequency range from 200 to 600 Hz.
The best known characteristic of chameleons is their ability to change the color of the skin. Most people believe that chameleons change their color to blend in with environment. Actually, change in color is the result of the mood change (when they are angry or aggressive), temperature, light and moisture in their environment. Cells equipped with pigment used for color change are called chromatophores.
Another equally impressive feature of chameleons is their long and sticky tongue used for catching of insects. Their tongue can be 1.5 to 2 times longer than their body (excluding tail). Tongue expands on its end and turns into a suction cup after catching of the insect.
Chameleon's tongue is propelled by incredible speed: it takes 0.07 seconds for tongue to reach the victim.
Chameleons eat locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, mantis and stick insects.
Males are females do not always look the same. Males usually have more "ornaments", such as horns, spikes and nasal-protrusions. They are used when male defends its territory.
Although chameleons are not social animals, they tend to stick together and even to mate more intensively when they are exposed to the ultraviolet light.
Chameleon deposits eggs in the nests in the ground. Number of eggs depends on the species and it ranges from 6 to 24. Time for hatching also varies from 6 months to 2 years. Some species carry eggs in the womb until the hatching.
Newly born chameleons look like a miniature version of an adult animal. They are capable for the independent life from the minute they are born.
Chameleon can survive more than 10 years in the captivity.
Chameleon Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia > Phylum: Chordata > Class: Reptilia > Order: Squamata > Family: Chamaeleonidae

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