Powernubby.com: All About Chameleons As Pets. The word Chameleon in Ancient Greek (Khamaileon) means “Ground (khamai) Lion (-leon)”. 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.
In this article we will describe the basic knowledge all about Chameleons as pets. The goal is that you do not make any mistakes in taking care Chameleons as pets.
All About Chameleons As Pets
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 tree tops.
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 being frighten. 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 have a very long and sticky tongue with incredibly powerful jaws; even young chameleons can eat very large insects. 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. Chameleons posses stereoscopic eyes, allowing them to have a 360-degree view of their surroundings; when prey is sighted, they can focus both eyes on it which helps creates a sense of depth and distance.
Their tail is also quite notable for its “curly” shape, as it is used for grasping. They also use their long tail to help with balance and with climbing. Most Chameleons are carnivores and will solely live off insects and other small creatures. However, some species of Chameleon are omnivores, and tend to enjoy the occasional vegetation.
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.
The Chameleon is distinctively well known for its ability to change colour, however this is not for camouflage purposes, but instead is a way of communication. This is done by the shifting of cells (chromatophores) in specially designed pigment layers. Chameleons are believed to be deaf due to the lack of an outer/middle ear, although some chameleons are thought to be able to sense vibrations through solid objects, as a form of communication and is also used for hunting.
If you decide to purchase a Chameleon as a pet, make sure you thoroughly research Chameleons as they are very delicate animals. Their habitat and climate, all need to be set up before the Chameleon can be introduced to their new environment. Chameleons are very susceptible to Metabolic Bone disease and diseases that affect their immune system. Make sure you supplement their diet, make sure they get at least 8 hours of UV light, and in the in case the worst-case-scenario does happen, make sure you have insurance.
That’s all about chameleons as pets you should know. This animal is very unique and can be an alternative if you are interested in reptiles.