Chameleons are remarkable creatures, with their mitten-like feet, their lightning fast extendable tongue and independent moving eyes make chameleons excellent hunters and hiders.
Chameleons can camouflage like an octopus blending in perfectly with their surroundings. But camouflage isn’t the only thing chameleons use their color changing abilities for, they also use it as threats to other chameleons, mating signals and many other things.
Chameleons eat all insects from common fruit flies to praying mantis. Chameleons tongues are very strange, they have a bone at the base which provides the extra momentum needed to get to the prey fast. At the tip of the very, very long tongue is a club-like ball covered with sticky mucus. When the tongue hits the prey it is quickly yanked back so the chameleon can munch up the bug.Their tongues can strike an insect off its perch in 30 thousandths of a second! Sometimes chameleons tongues are twice as long as their own body.
Size and Shape
Chameleons also vary greatly in size and shape. Some chameleons have two horns although others only have one, many have no horns and a couple have ridges, a number of chameleons have large spine frills and some don’t have any horns, ridges or frills. The smallest chameleon, the dwarf chameleon or Brookesia minima is only 3 centimeters long! The largest is the Malagasy Giant Chameleon or Furcifer oustaleti, which can grow to be 68 centimeters!
There are two kinds of chameleons when it comes to breeding, Oviparous (No development inside mother) and Ovoviviparous ( More development inside mother). Oviparous mothers go through a 3-6 growth period. After the growth period the mother digs a hole 10-30 centimeters deep and deposits her eggs. Clutch (egg group) sizes vary greatly between species. Small dwarf chameleons will only lay 2-4 eggs where as large Veiled chameleons lay 80-100 eggs. Eggs generally hatch after 4-12 months but Parson’s chameleon eggs have been known to hatch in 24 months! Ovoviviparous chameleons have live young and go through a 5-6 week development period. When the baby chameleons are born they are in a transparent membrane and will crawl out when it touches the ground or a branch.
Bye for now, hope you learned something, Max