Chameleons are very interesting animals. Aside from the fact that they can change color,
they can also move their eyes independently. This is because their eyes are shaped like turrets. Above is a diagram of
an adult male Bradypodion fischeri multituberculatus.
Chameleons can also shoot their tongue out at insects. They can hang from trees using only their tails. They also
have the ability to change color rapidly. Many people think that they do this to camouflage, but in fact, they change
their skin color according to their feelings. Most chameleons are plain in color unless they are excited. That is
when you will see their most brilliant colors. If a chameleon is too hot, it may take on a bleached color and this
indicates it is suffering from heat stress. Chameleons have four different layers of skin:
-The epidermis is transparent skin that the chameleon sheds. It is made up of the same material as our fingernails.
-The chromatophore layer ( yellow and red pigment )
-The melanophore layer ( reflecting blue, brown and black. )
-The nether layer ( white )
A chameleons eyes are shaped like turrets in order to see 180 degrees each eye.
This is a useful survival tool, as they can be hunting for food, and looking behing them at the same time for predators.
The chameleon's brain recieves two separate images and places them together as one.
Chameleons can shoot their tongue out more than two times the size of their body
length. It is very sticky and is great for catching insects. It has a sticky tip, retracting muscles as well as
accelerator muscles. Combined, these are a deadly weapon; at least for insects.
Although you can not see them, chameleons do have tympanic holes just under the
skin which allows them to hear some vibrations and tones. Many chameleons, especially male C.calyptratus, make
buzzing noises if threatened.
Most chameleons, especially males, are equipped with horns, rostral processes,
casques and other appendages. Males of C.calyptratus are known for their high casques, and Male C.jacksonii have
three large horns, resembling a color changing triceratops. Some chameleons, such as C.melleri, have occipital
lobes ( earlike ) which are flapped out in order to appear larger to predators.
Chameleons have zygodactylous ( Y-shaped ) feet. One side of the foot has three
toes, while the other has two. Many have a very powerful grip along with sharp nails.