Chameleons are exotic reptiles and have been catching the imagination of pet lovers for quite some time. Humans have been fascinated by the uncommon features of the chameleon that they’ve decided to domesticate it against all odds. Let’s take a look at some of the top chameleon facts that will allure you further. After reading this article, you will be able to appreciate the fascination that chameleon lovers have for this reptile. Without any further delay, let me present you the top chameleon facts.
Chameleon eyes are independent
Yes, you read that right. Each eye of the chameleon can move independently and hence view objects separately. The chameleon has unique pairs of eyes among reptiles. They have a 360-degree wide view arc of vision and are capable of seeing two directions at the same instance. Out of all the chameleon facts this one impresses me the most. When they lock down their vision on any object (let’s say a prey), both eyes are brought to focus offering a sharp stereoscopic vision. This gives them the ability to precisely gauge the distance and plan on the next move.
Chameleons can change their color
For many people who are familiar with chameleons, this could be the most interesting chameleon fact. While the majority of the species can change their body color from brown to green and vice versa, there are quite a few that can change to almost any color. Thanks to the presence of pigmented cells called chromatophores underneath their outer skin, chameleons can change to a different color in just about 20 seconds.
Typically, the top layers of the chromatophores have either a yellow or red pigment while the lower ones have white or blue pigments. These four colors combine to give the chameleon the color it desires. While it was believed for long that this camouflage feature helps the animal to avoid detection in a hostile environment or while stalking its prey. However, recent studies have proved that the color change is due to variation in mood, temperature, and light.
Chameleons come in different sizes
There is a huge variation in the size of the chameleons between different species and sub-species. This should be one of the most surprising chameleon facts – the smallest chameleon is as small as 0.6 inches long while the largest one is about 30 inches long. You are looking at a reptile that can be too small to hold at the tip of your finger or large enough to be able to devour a mouse, other lizards, and small birds. You should definitely consider this before buying a chameleon to your home.
Chameleons are blessed with vision in both the visible spectrum (as humans do) and also in ultraviolet light. In fact, when exposed to ultraviolet light chameleons are known to exhibit higher activity levels, an inclination to eat, reproduce, and increased social behavior.
Chameleons are literally deaf
Chameleons do not have ears! So they are literally deaf, but not completely. Much similar to the snakes, they can detect sound in the frequency range of 200-600 Hz. Among the chameleon facts, this one is especially fascinating because it speaks volumes about the hunting prowess of the reptile, given the limitations.
Chameleons catch their prey by ballistically shooting their long tongue from a distance. The chameleon is blessed with a long tongue that is as long as 1.5 to 2 times its body length. This is one of the amazing chameleon facts, as this can put its bigger counterparts in the reptile world to shame! The pace at which the chameleon hits its prey is also worth mentioning. It is done in as little as 0.07 seconds. The acceleration of the tongue touches as high as 60 mph. This hunting prowess can make it one of the best predators in the animal or reptile kingdom!
The feet of the chameleon are tailor made for movement in plants and trees. Each foot is equipped with 5 toes grouped into a flattened section giving them a tong-like look. This special foot helps the reptile grip firmly on rough and narrow branches. The claw on each toe helps it grip on surfaces while climbing. Chameleons also use their long tail when moving in the trees to secure their position and balance their body weight.
Males are more good-looking
Male chameleons are more ornamental than their female counterparts. They have a horn-like projection or nasal protrusion or even large crest on the top of their head giving them a very attractive look. Here, it’s the male that scores in the looks department!
Males live longer
Across the species of chameleons, the males tend to live longer than the females. This chameleon fact has been a subject of intense studies. Besides, males are longer than the females also in size.
Young chameleons are independent
Chameleons are quite independent right from the moment they are born. They look like scaled down version of the adults!