The nature around us abounds in variety and complexity, which is not only fascinating but also, at times, perplexing. She contains a plenty of mind blowing wonders which are engaging and worth learning about. One of the most wonderful creatures, ever found in nature, is chameleon which belongs to the clade of distinctive and highly specialized lizards. It is really something surprising to know that chameleons are capable of changing the color of their body, as well as they can see in two directions at once. These two features can be rightly considered as an adaptation for safety and escaping from the potential predators. In case of any serious danger, hovering over their head, these organisms quickly change the color of their body and bring it in perfect conformity with the color of the bush or tree. If, even then, some predators can locate them, the seconds and relatively advanced specialization comes into play they look in multiple directions and run away to escape the approaching enemy. Now, if you are interested to know some really amazing things about these marvelous products of nature, keep on reading the rest of the post as well.

What do Chameleons Eat?

As these fascinating lizards are also kept as pets, so before brining theme home, you must know well about what do chameleons eat. Primarily all the species of chameleons are insectivorous animals, which feed by ballistically projecting their long tongues to capture the prey present at some distance. Their tongues reach the prey within the fraction of a second and hold the prey by forming a small suction cup at the bulbous ball-like muscular tip. It has recently been discovered that the smaller of these lizards have proportionately larger tongues than those found in other species with larger body sizes. Sometimes, they also consume greenery for the sake of brining variety in their diet. When you are feeding your pet chameleons with insects, do be careful of the ladybugs that are toxic. Additionally, they shouldn't be fed with the same kind of food all the times, as they get bored and stop eating. So, bring variety in their diet and feed the adults less often than those of the juveniles and hatchlings. It is because if the adults are kept a bit hungry, they will always have interest to eat something.

Chameleon Pictures

If you are interested in observing the color ranges and the changing body shade patterns in these friends of lizards, get access to the internet and search for the chameleon pictures. If you do so, you are sure to get fascinated with their brilliant appearances. Though the majority of the species occur in a wide range of colors and can change the appearance from brown to green and black, some are even capable of changing their body color into almost any shade. It is also worth noticing that the male members are usually more ornamented than those of their female counterparts. On the body of the males, you can locate some additional decorations, such as horn-like projections, nasal protrusions, and the presence of large crests on the top of their head.

Chameleon Facts

Described below are some of the puzzling and mind blowing chameleon facts, which you might be unaware of till now.

  • At present, you can find as many as one hundred and sixty (160) species of chameleon lizards with a range of colors, and many of these are also capable of altering their body color.
  • Nearly half (approximately 59) of the total surviving species (160) of these charming animals are found and limited to the island of Madagascar, as you can see them nowhere else.
  • Other than their habitation on the island of Madagascar, there are about 101 species of these lizard friends which are scattered in different parts of the globe, particularly, Southern Europe, Africa, South Asia and Sri Lanka.
  • Some species have also been introduced in the United States of America at some places, such as Florida, Hawaii and California.
  • Most of them can change colors from brown to green and black, while some can modify their body shade into almost any color.
  • It takes about 20 seconds for a chameleon to switch from one appearance to another.
  • The color change occurs due to the presence of highly specialized cells which contain colors and pigments to be applied at the time of need.
  • The pigment containing cells, lying in layers just below the outer skin, are termed as chromatophores and, in the outer most of these layers, you will find red and yellow pigments.
  • In the lower layers, there are usually blue or white colored pigments.
  • Contrary to the general perception that chameleon change colors to blend with the surroundings, the scientists are of the view that they change their body shades based on their mood and the surrounding temperature and light.
  • The change in chromatophores occurs after receiving message from the brain, which tells them to shrink or enlarge. In this way, the cell pigments get mixed just like paint and a new color appears.
  • A chemical, known as melanin, also plays its role in changing the body color. For this purpose, the melanin fibers are spread through the pigment cells and their presence causes the skin to darken.
  • It is one of the most amazing chameleon facts that their eyes have 360 degree arc of vision, which enables them see in two directions at the same time.
  • The upper and lower eyelids are joined, and there is only a pinhole large enough for the pupil to see through.
  • So surprisingly, their eyes can move independent of each other and focus on two different objects simultaneously.
  • Among reptiles, they have got very good eyesight, which lets them view small insects from a long distance of 5 to 10 meters.
  • The organisms belonging to different chameleon species vary greatly in size, while measuring in total body length from 0.6 (15 mm) inch to as large as 30 inch (68.5 cm). The male members of Brookesia micra are considered to be one of the world's smallest reptiles.
  • The ballistically projecting tongues may extend up to 1.5 to 2 times the total length of their body (excluding the tail).
  • Their unusually lengthy tongues are used to capture preys that are located at some distance.
  • It has also been discovered that smaller chameleons are possessed with proportionately larger tongues than those of their larger counterparts.
  • You can have an idea about the extremely high performance of the tongue projection that it reaches the prey in as little as 0.07 seconds, and it is launched at the Being a bulbous ball of muscle, as the tongue of chameleons hits the prey, it quickly forms a small suction cup, which is used to hold the prey firmly and bring it towards the mouth.
  • The feet (called Happy Feet) have been adopted for rapid and firm movement on the tree branches, that is, arboreal locomotion.
  • Though each of the feet has five clearly distinguished toes, the latter are grouped to give their feet a tongs-like appearance.
  • The males are usually much more ornamented than those of their female counterparts, as they have distinctive nasal protrusions, horn-like projections and large crests on the top of their head.
  • Like snakes, chameleons do not have an outer or a middle ear, and there isn't an ear opening or an air drum. So, they can't hear much, but are capable of detecting sound frequencies in the range of 200 to 600 Hz.
  • They can view things both in the visible and ultraviolet light, and in the latter type of environment, they show increased social activity.
  • The American chameleon, known as anole isn't really a chameleon, but instead it is a small lizard of the iguana family. This wonderful lizard is found in the south eastern part of the United States and is noted for its color changes.

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