Chameleon facts and info. Know Chameleon weight loss plan, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and so on See fascinating facts of Chameleon in our animal facts archive.

Scientific identify: Chamaeleo chamaeleon
Scientific classification: Phylum: Chordata Class: Reptilia Order: Squamata Family: Chamaeleonidae

What does it appear like?
The widespread chameleon is a medium sized lizard reaching lengths of round 60 cm, half of which is the prehensile tail that's held in a coil when not in use. The physique of the chameleon is flattened from aspect to aspect, whereas on the ft there are 5 digits forming wonderful claspers. The head of the chameleon is massive with bony keels making it look as if it's carrying a helmet. The eyes are massive, independently mobile and mounted in small turrets. The mouth is massive and provides the animal a kind of cartoon look.

Where does it dwell?
The widespread chameleon is discovered across the Mediterranean as far north because the south of Spain and as far east as Israel. It prefers forested and wooded areas the place it dwells in timber and bushes.

Characteristics

The chameleon should price as some of the uncommon and entertaining reptiles. It is a comical wanting creature, but its amusing look belies it eff ectiveness as a predator. The chameleon is a diurnal stalker of any insect or spider that shares it arboreal house. The digits are organized on its ft in order that it grips a department with two claws on one aspect and three on the opposite, giving it safe buy on even fl imsy twigs. The tail can also be prehensile and the tip is wrapped across the department to act like a security line. Haste means nothing to the chameleon. It is an animal of sluggish, measured strides. The eyes of the chameleon are maybe probably the most peculiar among the many vertebrates. They are mounted in what appear like tiny turrets and it could possibly transfer every one individually. When it's scanning the close by vegetation for a possible meal they swivel in all instructions, enabling the lizard to see throughout with out transferring its head and alerting an unwary snack to its presence. The eyes, showing to have a lifetime of their very own, do nothing to give the chameleon a critical, predatory look. However, when one of many always rolling eyes has noticed one thing of curiosity it turns into obvious what an eff ective little hunter this animal is. It begins edging up the department it's on in direction of the prey with the stealth of an murderer. Not solely are its actions very sluggish and measured, but it surely additionally sways very gently to idiot the prey that it's a part of the tree transferring with the breeze. Its physique can also be fl attened from aspect to aspect and it makes an attempt to strategy the prey in order that it faces it head on, presenting a small goal for a fl ighty insect to repair its gaze on. Not solely is the chameleon an knowledgeable stalker, additionally it is a grasp of disguise. Special pores and skin cells can change measurement, altering the colour and tone of the animal. It can’t change from inexperienced to some gaudy shade of pink, however it could possibly make refined modifications that assist it mix in with the vegetation, and even give it markings to mix in with the patterns of the sunshine and shade within the solar-dappled cover. All of these incredible diversifications bamboozle the prey and earlier than lengthy the chameleon is inside vary of its chosen sufferer. The most elegant a part of the chameleon’s looking method is that's doesn’t even have to be on prime of the prey to strike. The last trick within the reptile’s repertoire comes into play when it's a couple of physique size from the insect or spider it means to eat. Its eyes cease rolling and each zero in on the goal, giving it a stereoscopic view. Its mouth opens very slowly to reveal a glistening, pinkish blob of a tongue. In much less time than it takes to blink, the chameleon leans ahead and the tongue springs from the mouth, the sticky membership at its finish adheres to the unfortunate sufferer and earlier than it is aware of what is going on it's hurtling in direction of the ready maw of the reptile. The entire act is over in a fraction of a second and it's usually troublesome to inform if the chameleon has been profitable till you see a faintly quivering insect leg poking out from the lizard’s mouth.

Key Facts

  • There are round 80 species of chameleon. They are reptiles of the Old World and are present in Africa, Madagascar, Europe, and Asia. They all have the identical primary physique plan with prehensile ft and tail, the swiveling eyes and projecting tongue. The smallest species have a physique size of round 5 cm, whereas the biggest are greater than 60 cm lengthy. Some species bear horns on their head giving them the look of a miniature dinosaur.
  • When each of the chameleon’s eyes are centered on a goal they offer it wonderful notion of depth. This is the important thing component of their looking success because it have to be ready to precisely gauge the exact distance to its prey.
  • The projectile tongue of the chameleon is a fancy system of bone, muscle and sinew. At the bottom of the tongue is a bone and that is shot ahead giving the tongue the preliminary momentum it wants to attain the prey rapidly. At the tip of the elastic tongue there's a muscular, membership-like construction, lined in thick mucus that types a suction cup. Thisattaches the tongue to the prey enabling it to be reeled in.
  • The phrase chameleon is synonymous with deception and ‘blending in’. Its shade altering skills are thanks to the distinctive properties of its pores and skin. There are two sorts of shade cells within the pores and skin: pink and yellow. Beneath these cells is a refl ecting layer of blue and white, beneath this there's a layer of brown pigment. Depending on what shade the chameleon wants to be, the pores and skin cells get larger or smaller, modifying the colour of sunshine that's refl ected from the underlying layers. The camoufl age abilities used to hunt prey are the identical used to keep away from detection by predators, but when they're noticed their final line of protection is to straighten their limbs, infl ate themselves, hiss and sway about in an try to look intimidating.
  • The chameleons are supremely tailored to an arboreal existence and they don't seem to be at house on the bottom; nevertheless, females have to descend to the bottom to lay their eggs within the soil on the base of a tree.