I love chameleons. From their “um, yes I’ll go, ummm, hang on, maybe I’ll stay, No, hang on, don’t rush me, I’ll go!” – to their awesomely yucky, loooonnnngggg, sticky tongue and deadly aim! Their curly tails and cute split foot, with toes on either side! Their googly eyes and various appellations. They’re fabulously talented camouflage experts and when they get cross!!!! Oooh, you really do know it from their colouration! We found this one hanging out in the garden. He had a white patch of “lichen” on his head that was rather rakish! We’ve spotted him a few times in the garden and watch him watching us, as well as everything else!!! They are awesome!
Big G was so excited, but reluctant to take him. He thrilled to watch him wobble over Little K. Little K of course just wanted to grab and eat poor Boy George (of course).
Please don’t try to keep a chameleon – they have an enormously varied and voracious diet and do not do well in captivity.
Chameleons are from a family called Chamaeleonidae, and are very different to other lizards!
- They have feet like a parrot – called zygodactylous feet. It means that they have two toes pointing forward, and two toes pointing backwards.
- Their eyes are able to move independently, called stereoscopic eyes.
- They have very special tongues; very long, highly modified and rapidly extrudable (stretchy) tongues.
- They walk funny – back and forth swaying motion.
- Many chameleons have a prehensile tail – like a monkey.
- Some have crests or horns on their prehistoric looking heads.
- They’re mainly known for being able to change colour, but not all do.
- They come in all sorts of sizes; from littlies measuring about 16mm or (1/2 in.) in Brookesia micra (one of the world’s smallest reptiles) to 68.5 cm (27 in.) in the male Furcifer oustaleti.
- There are approximately 160 species of chameleon in the world; from Africa, Madagascar, Spain and Portugal, across south Asia to Sri Lanka. They have been introduced to Hawaii, California and Florida. They like warm places that can be as different as deserts to rain forests!
The word chameleon comes originally from Greek and sort of means “ground lion”.
- World’s Tiniest Chameleon Found In Madagascar (amusingplanet.com)