30 interesting facts about chameleons

Amazing chameleons are created by nature to be truly interesting and unique creatures. Not many creatures on Earth have such developed abilities for mimicry, and these cold-blooded creatures stand out against their background. Of course, their ability to disguise themselves and merge with the surrounding nature is sometimes overestimated, but this does not make the result of their evolution any less amazing.

Interesting facts about chameleons

  1. All their species prefer to lead an arboreal way of life, masquerading among branches and leaves.
  2. From the point of view of biology, chameleons belong to lizards (interesting facts about lizards).
  3. The smallest chameleons do not exceed 3 centimeters in length, and the smallest large ones grow up to 50-60 centimeters.
  4. During sleep, chameleons cannot control camouflage and skin color changes.
  5. Many chameleons have horns on their heads, but only males. Females are deprived of them.
  6. In total, there are about 150 different species of these chameleons in the world. Almost half of them are found nowhere else in the world, except in Madagascar.
  7. A chameleon’s amazingly elastic tongue can stretch to a length that exceeds the length of its own body.
  8. The eyelids of chameleons are fused and permanently closed, but nature provided a hole in them for the pupil (interesting facts about the eyes).
  9. The chameleon is able to throw out its tongue to catch an insect in one twentieth of a second.
  10. When its tongue «shoots» and then retracts, the chameleon closes its eyes to protect its eyes from the damage that fluttering prey can cause.
  11. The chameleon can completely change the color of the skin in 20-30 seconds, but it depends on many factors.
  12. They have very good eyesight, but poor hearing.
  13. At night, chameleons turn pale and become visible to predators, so they prefer to sleep somewhere safe at night.
  14. On the change in the color of their skin is influenced not only by the surrounding area, but also by many other things – humidity, fear, satiety, light and thirst.
  15. Chameleons can rotate both eyes in different directions, independently of each other.
  16. Small species of chameleons have a longer tongue in relation to the body than large ones.
  17. Some chameleons are able to see both in the normal visual spectrum and in the ultraviolet.
  18. Heat directly affects their activity. In the light, chameleons become much more active (interesting facts about the Sun).
  19. The only chameleon that is actually not one is the American one. This is an ordinary lizard, which, however, can also change the color of its skin.
  20. When ill, a chameleon can turn completely black.
  21. Due to the unusual structure of the eyes, chameleons can see everything around in a 360-degree radius.
  22. They are able to see small midges at a distance of up to 10 meters.
  23. Some species of chameleons live on average a little more than one year, but there are those who can live for 20 years.
  24. From the ancient Greek language, the word «chameleon» translated as «earth lion».
  25. In the wild, chameleons usually live in small groups of 4-6 individuals, unlike lizards that prefer a solitary existence.
  26. A female chameleon can lay up to 30-40 eggs at a time.
  27. Excited or frightened chameleons swell and increase in size.
  28. A hunting chameleon is completely immobile. This helps it blend in with its surroundings.
  29. Scientists believe that the main function of the color-changing skin of chameleons is communication with their own kind, and not disguise.
  30. The oldest fossil remains of chameleons are more than 100 million years.
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