Is A Chameleon The Right Pet For You?
Chameleons are unique lizards that live in a variety of climates and locations. Half of all the chameleon species are from Madagascar and the rest can be found in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Chameleons are “arboreal” meaning they have adapted to living a life in the trees ( Glaw,F. 12). They are Mainly carnivores that feed primarily on insects, only Veiled chameleons are known to eat fruit, but some will eat small reptiles, such their own young at birth, and other vertebrates, such as small snails.
Chameleons have some amazing physical features. They have tubular cone shaped eyes, which can move independently of one another. Most species have a very long projectile tongue. Some species can extend their tongue up to twice the length of their body. Chameleons also have a” prehensile tail “meaning that their tails can manipulate and grasp branches to help them climb and or balance tree branches (De Vosjoli. P. 48). To aid a life in the trees, their hands and feet have fused to be pincer-like which helps them as well to grasp branches. These reptiles also have flattened bodies, another adaption for arboreal lifestyle.
Each Chameleon species varies greatly in size, color, and longevity. The smallest chameleon species is less than two inches long and the largest can be up to thirty inches long ( DeWitt, C. 52). They are often colorful lizards, and the color spectrum ranges with variations of green, blue, brown, orange, and black as well. Chameleons can change color at will. Which can represent emotional levels, such as stress or anger, or is used as away to regulate body tempeture? “A few species use their color as camouflage to protect themselves from predators” (De Vosjoli. 22). All chameleon species live fairly short lives, depending on the species it ranges from a few years up to around ten years.
When selecting a chameleon, it is without question best to find a captive bred one...