Showing posts with label Chameleon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chameleon. Show all posts



Chameleon - Photo: Pixabay
Chameleons are lizards with many fascinating features. There are several different types of Chameleons. By current classification, there are over 160 different species of Chameleons. Most Chameleons are native to Africa and a small island off the coast of Africa called Madagascar. There are also a few Chameleons native to Europe, such as Spain and Portugal, and some regions of Asia. 

They have also been introduced to Hawaii. They tend to live in warm climates from rain forests to deserts. Chameleons are truly unique creatures. Through evolution, they have developed many interesting features.

One of those features is the ability to move their eyes independent of one another. One eye can look beside or behind them while the other eye looks in front of them. This feature gives Chameleons the ability to have a 360-degree view around them. Contrary to the belief, Chameleons do not change their color to blend in with their background. They are naturally camouflaged because of their colors. Usually green to match the treetops.

They do however change their color by brightening or darkening their skin, but this is based on temperature regulation or emotional changes like stress or frightening. Chameleons are arboreal, which means they stay in trees most of their life. They have strong feet that grip like vices. 

Chameleons are didactyl. They have five toes on each foot, but they are connected together into a group of two and a group of three. This makes their feet appear to look like tongs. Each toe has a sharp claw.

They also use their long tail to help with balance and with climbing. Chameleons have a quite extraordinary tongue. Their tongues are made up of bone, muscle, and sinew. Most Chameleons can stick out their tongue one and a half times its body. They use this feature for food. They can shoot out their tongue in just a fraction of a second to catch their food. The tip of their tongue is also very sticky. Chameleons vary greatly in their sizes.

The smallest Chameleon is about 1.3 inches and the largest at 27 inches. Many Chameleons show some time of head or facial ornamentation, such as nasal protrusions, or horn-like projections or large crests on top of their heads. Like snakes, they do not have a middle or outer ear. This might suggest that Chameleons may be deaf. Most Chameleons are oviparous (egg-laying) and others are ovoviviparous (live birth). After about 3 to 6 weeks, oviparous Chameleons will climb down from the branches and dig a hole to lay the eggs in. Eggs will hatch between 4 to 12 months depending on the species. Ovoviviparous Chameleons will give birth between 5 to 6 months.

Chameleons mainly eat insects, such as locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, roaches, and mantis. Some larger Chameleons have been known to eat small birds and other lizards. Chameleons do not seem to recognize standing water so they tend to drink water from leaves. Chameleons are truly beautiful creatures with many interesting features. Chameleons continue to be one of the most fascinating lizards in the world.


CHAMELEON - Chameleon sp.

Chameleon - Photo: Pixaby


Big, Beautiful Parson's CHAMELEON

Out of all the chameleons in the world, the Parson's Chameleon is said to be the largest when it comes to weight. They reach the size of a house cat, and the tail can stretch to be longer than the body. These large reptiles are native to eastern Madagascar and are very popular among collectors due to their size and also the wide appeal of the chameleon's appearance.

Parson's Chameleon - Photo0: Wikimedia

These brilliantly colored lizards are characterized by their gray or brownish colorings as juveniles, but the colors and patterns change depending upon the different life stage they may be in. Dark banding runs diagonally across the thick body of this chameleon. In adulthood, colors that are present include greens and blues. Some males can exhibit orange eyelids and even yellow or white lips. A dorsal crest is sometimes present in males, as well as two rostral appendages. They look like two tiny horns.

The natural habitat for this amazing reptile is low and mid-altitude rainforests. They seem to have a preference of being near moving water and are very often found next to streams. They are very seldom if ever seen on the ground, instead preferring the canopy of trees and the security and prey they provide.

The Parson's chameleon is an omnivore, munching regularly on small lizards, birds and perhaps even small mice when it's looking for a meaty meal. Other items on the menu for this bruiser include leaves, flowers, and also many different kinds of fruits. For a water source, many owners choose to use some sort of drip system.

Chameleons are notorious for not drinking from standing water, preferring to take their hydration as it drips from leaves or trickles from a waterfall. Like other chameleons, the Parson's chameleon can extend its tongue to one and a half times its body length to capture prey.

Perhaps mostly because of its size, the Parson's chameleon seems to be popular with people who keep reptiles. It is a particularly slow moving specimen and may appear to be a bit lazy. This should not, however, fool you into thinking you can house this chameleon in a smaller sized cage. It still needs plenty of room to roam about. Room- sized cages that offer plenty of hiding spots seem to make the Parson's chameleon happy.

When it comes to home habitat, the Parson's chameleon has requirements that are similar to other chameleons. They need things to climb on, preferably live vegetation. They prefer the temperature to be on the warm side, up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and not dipping below 65 degrees at night. Humidity should be on the high side to mimic their natural habitat in the wild. We recommend 80 to 100 percent humidity levels.

Cages should be constructed from sturdy materials. No glass or plastic, as it doesn't allow for any air exchange within the cage. They live in the trees - they need plenty of ventilation. Parsons is a solitary creature and will exhibit signs of stress when they are subjected to overcrowding, and with Parsons, two's a crowd unless it's time to mate.

Breeding males will actually butt heads to try to establish who is more dominant. The females only breed once every two years. They can lay up to 25 eggs. The eggs incubate for an incredible twenty months.

Knowing what to look for when selecting a Parson's chameleon can help with your enjoyment of this fascinating reptile. Remember, the life span of these guys can be over six years. Check to see if the skin springs back when it is lightly pinched. If not, the chameleon is dehydrated. Also look to see how active it is. A reluctance to climb or even move about could be a sign that the reptile is not very healthy. Another point to look for is eyes that are constantly open. Chameleons are said to never close their eyes in the daytime.

As with any exotic, the best way to keep the Parsons Chameleon healthy is to maintain a habitat that resembles his native habitat as closely as possible. Learn about his geographical area and have the enclosure ready before you purchase your Parsons Chameleon.