If you're looking for a reptile as unique as you are, look no further than the chameleon. While these little reptiles are growing in popularity as exotic pets, there are a few things we bet you didn't know about chameleon care and behavior.
When it comes to the chameleon species, there is a lot more to them than meets the eye. Just take a look at these 10 facts you probably didn't know about chameleons. Whether you're thinking of getting your first pet chameleon or just find these creatures fascinating, we bet you'll learn something new from these fun facts.
1. Contrary to popular belief, chameleons don't change color to blend into their environment.
While some species can change color whenever they want, most chameleons' color change happens in response to heightened emotions or new habitats.
Some chameleons change colors when they feel angry or fearful, while others change in response to light, temperature, or humidity.
2. In the wild, there are over 180 different species of chameleons, but only a select few are kept as pets.
The types most commonly found in pet stores or through breeders are panther chameleons, veiled chameleons, and Jackson's chameleons. Did you know there are such things as dwarf chameleons too?
3. Unlike other pets that reach their full size within a few years of their life, chameleons continuously grow.
As these reptiles grow, they shed their skin bit by bit.
4. Chameleons are able to change the color of their skin by adjusting a layer of special cells.
Unlike other animals that change their appearance by dispersing pigments, chameleons change the actual structure of their cells.
5. A chameleon's tongue can be twice as long as their body length.
They use their suction-cup tongue to catch prey without coming close enough to scare them away. They are famous for their long tongue!
The captive bred chameleon loves to eat mealworms and waxworms that they catch with that chameleon tongue!
6. Chameleons have opposable toes on their feet, similar to our thumbs, which give them good grip while climbing.
Some species of chameleons even have something called a prehensile tail, which acts as a fifth hand for grasping and navigating to help chameleon feet.
7. Chameleons' eyes have a 360-degree arc of vision and can move independently from each other.
This means that these little reptiles are able to see two directions at once which is called stereoscopic vision. They can look at two different objects at the same time!
8. Like many male animals, male chameleons are much more decorated than female chameleons and actually live longer.
This makes males the preferred sex to keep as a pet.
9. Chameleons can't hear, but that doesn't mean they're unaware of what is going on around them.
Their bodies are able to detect sound frequencies in the range of 200 - 600 Hz.
10. Chameleons have a much wider visible range than us humans.
In fact, they can see in both visible and ultraviolet light. When exposed to ultraviolet light, chameleons show increased sociability and activity levels than when exposed to exclusively visible light.
If you didn't think so before, there is no denying now that chameleons are one cool reptile.
Knowing these facts before bringing your own new chameleon home will help you make sure that you have everything necessary for them to have the highest quality of life.
Do you have a chameleon? Tell us or show us in the comments below!
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