Basic Facts About Chameleons
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Basic Facts About Chameleons

There are many fun facts for the chameleon which make this exotic lizard among the common choices as a household pet. Some parents may even consider it as an ideal pet for their kids, especially for those who have been observed as having a budding interest in exotic animals and the natural sciences.

Skin Coloration Wonder

ChameleonThere are many fun facts for the chameleon which make this exotic lizard among the common choices as a household pet. Some parents may even consider it as an ideal pet for their kids, especially for those who have been observed as having a budding interest in exotic animals and the natural sciences.

The ability to change the colors of its skin makes a chameleon capture the interest of both children and adults. This reptile is able to sport different body hues either by brightening or darkening their skin. The changes in coloration occur as the chameleon regulates its body temperature or displays behavioral changes.

Many people think that a chameleon employs its color-changing capability primarily to camouflage itself against natural predators. This is only partly true, color changes can also be observed in the lizard when it is frightened or angry. By itself, the pattern of the chameleon skin already blends well within the natural habitat of this reptile which ordinarily sports a green color.

Insect Hunters

Chameleons are endemic creatures in the African jungles, as well as in the forests of Madagascar. These reptiles can also be bred in captivity for sale in pet shops. In the wild, these lizards are arboreal, meaning they live mostly in treetop canopies to evade predators on the ground. Strictly an insectivore, a chameleon is very well adapted to hunt for insects that usually teem in its above ground habitat.

This reptile, over long years of evolution, has developed specialized eyes that rotate independent of each other. In effect, a chameleon can look forward with one eye and backward with its other eye, enabling the reptile to search a wider area for its insect prey. On the same breadth, the lizard can also be more vigilant of any of its predator, like snakes and bigger reptiles that likewise use trees as their hunting grounds.

Its specialized tongue is what also makes a chameleon distinctive from other pets. The lizard is able to catch its elusive insect prey through its long, sticky tongue that the reptile can shoot even toward a fairly distant victim. A chameleon can do this because its tongue is about one and a half times longer than its body length and can be instantly uncoiled to zap an unsuspecting insect.

When Choosing Chameleon as a Pet

Fascinating as they are, chameleons are only recommended for those with some experience in pet care. These are very sensitive lizards easily prone to stress and they do not relish being handled.

Captive-bred chameleons are the best choice as these are relatively hardier than their wild cousins which will have more difficulty adapting themselves as pets. One ideal choice for those with ample space in their household is the veiled chameleon which can grow up to two feet in length. The options for those with limited room pet space include the Panther’s chameleon and the Jackson’s chameleon. Pet lifespan will be around two to three years depending on the species.

The male species of these lizards provide more fun facts for the chameleon. They are more distinctive as exotic pets because of their three-horned heads, reminiscent of the triceratops iconic of the Jurassic era.

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