Let’s Talk About…Chameleons

source url Chameleon_pull_up

There are over 160 different species of chameleons and every single one is absolutely fascinating! The largest species of chameleon ( buy neurontin 100mg Furcifer oustaleti) can grow up to 27 inches, while the smallest species ( purchase Neurontin Brookesia micra) only 0.6 inches. Most chameleon species are found in sub-Saharan Africa or the island of Madagascar, but you can also find them in India, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East. So let’s dive in and learn about these peculiar reptiles.

Veiled_Chameleon_Walking_Funny_and_Then_Changes_Color

The majority of chameleon species are arboreal and so their bodies are beautifully adapted to living in the trees. The feet of chameleons have five distinguishable toes, however the toes are fused into two fascicles. These groups of toes give the feet the appearance of tongs. These unique feet allow the chameleons to grip small branches. Also each toe has a claw that helps the chameleon grip to rough bark. Even the chameleon species who have reverted to living on land have retained this foot structure with very little change.

Eye_movements_of_the_flap_necked_chameleon_Chamaeleo_dilepis

Chameleon’s eyes are truly remarkable! The upper-and-lower eyelids are fused together, which leaves just a pinhole size space for the pupil to collect light. Also, each eye can pivot and focus independently, which means that a chameleon can focus on two different objects at once! They truly have eyes on the back of their heads…and the front…and the sides!

How_chameleons_change_his_colors

Some species of chameleons can even change the colour of their skin! Depending on the species they can change their skin to any combination of pink, red, green, black, orange, yellow, blue, and purple. The changes in colour are used in social-signalling especially during male-female interactions. Changes in colour may also happen in reaction to changes in temperature and other environmental factors, as well as used for camouflage. Chameleons are able to change colour by manipulating the spacing of guanine crystals within their skin, which reflect different wavelengths of light. When relaxed the crystals usually reflect green light, but when excited and moved they reflect other colours! 

Chameleon_s_tongue_catches_fly

The most famous part of a chameleon’s body is its tongue! Most chameleons are insectivores, and use their tongues to add the element of surprise when hunting for food. Depending on the species a chameleon’s tongue can be twice the length of its body. The tongue is then contracted around a modified hyoid bone inside the mouth. The compression allows for elastic tension in the tongue so when it is released it can capture prey in 0.07 seconds!

And if all of this isn’t impressive enough, this animal was also immortalized in the classic “Karma Chameleon”!