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Updated on June 22, 2013

What Are Chameleons?

Chameleons are a highly distinctive species of clade lizards that have bird-like feet which are called their zygodactylous feet. Chameleons are known for their ability to camouflage with their surroundings. These good climbers and visual hunters often use their camouflage to hide themselves from their prey. Then, they'll strike!

I want to make you learn new facts about the chameleon, an awesome animal that uses its camouflage to get its prey and hide from predators. I will provide fun facts about chameleons, their prey, their predators, and every other detail I can get.

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What Do Chameleons Eat?

Chameleons mainly eat insects, but some of the larger species such as the Common Chameleon tend to eat lizards and young birds as well as insects. On the other hand, the Jackson's Chameleon can also be seen eating amphibians that aren't hard to catch. The chameleon will use its tongue to catch its prey. All chameleons eat insects, but other than insects, there are some differences in a chameleon's diet.

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The Tongue Of A Chameleon

A Chameleon uses its tongue to capture its prey. The typical chameleon's tongue is one and a half to two times longer than its body (not including the tail). Some of the smaller chameleons are abel to extend their tongues up to twice their body length. The reason a chameleon can stretch out its tongue so far is because a chameleon's tongue has highly modified hyoid bones, tongue muscles, and collagenous elements. These muscles also allow a chameleon's tongue to capture its prey at the rapid pace of only 0.07 seconds. With less than a tenth of a second for brace for impact, no prey will escape the chameleon.

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A Chameleon's Tongue Can Do What?!?

A chameleon can use its tongue to capture prey in seven tenths or 0.07 of a second.


Chameleons have different predator based on their habitats all over the world. Some of a chameleon's predators are snakes, and birds such as long bills, shrikes, and coucals. In order to avoid predators, a chameleon will use its camouflage.

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Where Do Chameleons Live?

Chameleons live in sub-Saharan Africa, on the island of Madagascar, southern Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa, India, and several smaller islands in the Indian Pacific Ocean. There are some Jackson's Chameleons living in tropical areas of the United States such as Hawaii, Florida, and California.

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The upper and lower eyelid of a chameleon's eye are joined, and since a chameleon can focus on two different objects at the same time, chameleon's eyes have a full 360 degree arch of vision around the chameleon. Chameleons have great eye vision that can see insects from 5 to 10 meters away.

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What Causes A Chameleon To Change Its Color? - The Main Factors

  • Body temperature
  • Emotions

More About A Chameleon's Color

The angrier and hotter a chameleon is, the brighter the chameleon will be, but if a chameleon is cooler and less angry, it will have a darker color.

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How Do You Like Chameleons?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      they are cool

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Chameleon: Camouflage with the Habitat




      Ranked #113,133 in Education, #1,730,595 overall

      Chameleon: Camouflage with the Habitat by PAUL JENKINS


      This fascinating yet bizarre reptile is widely known for the way in which it can change color based on its mood. It does not change color to blend with the surroundings of nature, although sometimes it does camouflage with the habitat but it does this as it is the mood of the Chameleon. It can camouflage with the Habitat in a different way as the Praying Mantis as it is the only creature that can change color and this is the unique feature it holds. It may easily ambush prey and hide from predators based on this unique ability. Although the green Praying Mantis can camouflage to leaves and the brown Praying Mantis can camouflage to twigs and branches the Chameleon can camouflage anywhere. They are able to change to pink, red, purple, orange, light blue, turquoise, yellow, brown, black. The Chameleon is recognized for its big popping rotational eyes, extendable tongue, crested body, zygodactylous feet, and long tail. Two of the feet face inwards and two of the other feet face outwards giving the Chameleon high gripping balance to climb vertically up the trunks of trees.


      Tongue projection New Guestbook Comments

      Tongue projection

      Strength and energy conservation

      The maximum total length of Chameleons varies from 0.6 inches to 30 inches depending on the species of Chameleons and depending on the age and sex. This reptile can rotate its eyes 360 degrees which means it can see two points at the same time allowing the eyes to move simultaneously. They can see at long distances ranging from 5-10m away from its original point of call. The tongue projection is also effective in catching prey, prey can be caught in 0.7 seconds as the muscles and tissues have an elastic mechanism to reach long distances in a short spate of time. The thermal sensitivity of the tongue projection enables interlocking and suction.

      Chameleons are lizards that are naturally found in Madagascar, Africa, the Middle East, and southern Europe. About half the world's chameleons live in Madagascar. Although the general Chameleon generally eats insects the Large Chameleons may eat birds and other lizards. As they are Reptiles they are cold-blooded and produce eggs. They can be kept as Pets at home but as they are exotic creatures they require greater care than non-exotic animals. Although they sometimes bite it is only when they are provoked.

      New Guestbook Comments

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      Chameleons are incredibly cute. Also, fascinating. Isn't it interesting that we've taken their name into the English language to describe a broader concept of 'adaptive coloration' and changeability.


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