The chameleon belongs to a family of lizards well adapted to an arboreal lifestyle. It is considered one of the most unique creatures that live on our planet. Almost everyone knows that chameleons are excellent camouflage. Sometimes a person can be very close to him, but not know it.
There has been a lot of controversy about these animals for a very long time. Someone believes they are amphibians, and who is sure they belong to a completely different class. But scientists have answered the question. Chameleons are reptiles. So let’s get to know them better. We present to you a list of 10 interesting facts about chameleons: amazing discoveries of scientists.
10. lead an arboreal life
Basically, all chameleons live on tree branches.. On the contrary, they are more comfortable there, because the disguise is quite simple. It is worth saying that sometimes they still go down. It happens during marriage.
It is quite difficult for them to move around the field. If you pay attention, you can see that the gait of chameleons on a land surface is a bit swaying. It is only thanks to the special support points that they can feel good in the thickets.
Most often, chameleons are active during the day. They don’t like to move all the time. Mainly located in one place, and try not to leave it. But at the same time they run very fast, if there are reasons for this.
9. They live on the island of Madagascar
Chameleons live in Africa, India, Southern Europe. But most of them are in Madagascar. They are also found in the tropics and savannas. Very rarely seen in deserts and steppes.
8. Able to change body color and pattern
Color change is the main characteristic of chameleons. The skin for them is a kind of armor, which has scales and tubercles. Each tubercle and each scale fit very tightly into each other. They can modify them thanks to the chromatophores.
Each cell has a branched structure. One part is in the depth of the skin and the other in the upper layers of the skin. It is in it that there are special capsules and some pigments containing various paints.
The color and pattern of the skin is different – from orange to blue and dark green. Can change it based on location, health and even emotions.
7. Using Color Change to Communicate
First of all, color change in chameleons happens for communication, not protection. But, if the animal is scared or someone has picked it up, a change can also occur.
Chameleons can change color if the opposite sex appears, as well as due to changes in temperature or lighting.
The changes also help the chameleon hide from enemies. It should be noted that it can become the color of the surface on which it is located. At the same time, the animal moves very slowly, which also saves its life, since in most cases it goes unnoticed.
6. Average body length 30 cm
The body length of a chameleon depends entirely on its species. But the average length always remains around 30cm. For example, a spiny species can reach a length of almost 45 centimeters, but females will be much smaller. Yemeni – almost 55 cm, panther – 35 cm, small – 25 cm, European or ordinary – 20 cm.
It is noteworthy that quite recently, not far from the island of Madagascar, the smallest species of chameleon was discovered. In total length – 29 mm. It can easily fit on a match head.
These species constantly reside in the forest litter. Scientists believe that these are dwarf species threatened with complete extinction. Very often, the forests in these places are subject to severe cutting.
Such a small species of chameleon feeds on the smallest insects. To avoid being disturbed, they climb to the top of the trees.
5. The tongue ejection process takes 1/20 of a second
More recently, scientists conducted shocking experiments. They considered about twenty different species of chameleons, which differ in size and habitat. There was a high-speed camera in the room, which recorded various processes: their movements, color changes.
The chameleons sat on branches, but their bodies were completely still. They caught insects with their tongues. The ejection process took only 1/20 of a second. Literally in 3 seconds the animal could recognize the insect. The fastest were the dwarf species. These chameleons live in the mountain ranges in Tanzania.
4. Height increase in case of fear
Sometimes, under the influence of mood, the color of a chameleon can change dramatically. For example, if an animal feels threatened, it may change its color from green to darker. But that’s not all. At such times a chameleon can swell and at the same time grow considerably in size.
At the same time, it inflates its mouth widely and makes sounds similar to the hissing of a snake. These animals are quite formidable during mating games. Approximately the same action takes place.
3. There are about 150 different types of chameleons
Currently, about 150 species of chameleons are known.. Almost all are listed in the Red Book. Many are on the brink of extinction.
Some people prefer to have such an exotic animal at home. But not everyone understands that for various reasons a chameleon cannot live in captivity. More precisely, it is possible, but for this you need to select certain types.
Yemeni, Panther, Carpet and many more are perfect. Not only do they adapt to involuntary living conditions, but they also give birth to their offspring.
Most of the 150 species of chameleons are found only in Madagascar and its closest islands.
2. Eyelids fused and permanently closed, with a hole for the pupil
The body of a chameleon is rather unusual. It is slightly flattened on the sides and the back is arched. Most often he has a comb decorated with different colors. Very often, because of this, it may seem that animals are hunched over.
Their head is even more amazing. Some species have a bump, others are just growths that look like horns. Basically, these various decorations can only be seen in the male gender. In women, they are less pronounced.
It is to highlight that the eyelids of reptiles are tightly fused and almost completely close the eye openings. Only small slits remain where the pupils can be seen. This is why it sometimes seems that they are a little convex, although this is not the case at all.
Chameleons rotate their eyes like telescopic tubes. The viewing angle is 360 degrees. At the same time, they can be rotated independently of each other. This is what allows animals to concentrate well on even the smallest objects.
But they don’t have ears. But, nevertheless, they perceive sounds of different frequencies.
1. Hypocrites are called chameleons
Surprisingly, sometimes chameleons are not called animals, but people. They try to adapt to new and unexpected circumstances. At the same time, they can do it almost instantly..
Chameleons lie very often and they also have two faces. Their true opinion is very difficult to know. They behave differently depending on the situation. For example, the authorities will try to please everyone, but those in a lower position will be rude and ridiculed in front of others.