Friday, 26 March 2010


As I was talking about camouflage in my last post, my mother suggested I write something in the same vein! So today I’m talking about chameleons and the first thing I’m going to do is disband a common misconception:

Chameleons do not change colour to blend into their surroundings!!!!

That is a complete rumour, they change colour depending on their emotions. For example I know from personal experience that when they turn very dark green/black it means they’re pissed off and you better stop annoying them!!

Chameleons can come in a wide variety of sizes, anywhere from 3.3cm to 68.5cm. they all tend to have head or facial ornamentation (like horns, ridges or spikes), which are normally more prominent on males of the species. Chameleons are what is called didactyl, meaning on each of their feet their toes are fussed together to make the foot appear like a set of tongs, it appear that 2 toes on the outside of the foot are fused and 3 toes on the inside. This means they can grip very tightly to even very thin branches.

Their top and bottom eyelids are joined together with just a tiny little hole only big enough for their pupil to see through. They can control their eyes separately allowing them to look in 2 different directions at once. They can also swivel their eyes around to look in pretty much any direction. Unlike most reptiles they have very good eyesight.

Chameleons are notorious for having especially long tongues (sometimes longer than their body). They can extend their tongue so fast the human eye cannot see it and I hits they prey in a 30 thousandths of a second. Their tongue actually contains a bone at the base of the tongue to give it instant momentum. The end of the tongue is a club like shape covered in mucus, which forms something like a suction cup, the chameleon then quickly withdraws it into their mouth.


  1. and I bet there are come cool films of youtube, you should include one

  2. I can't help but thinking of Will in his Dark Matereials every time you talk about camoflauge. :-) And I thought they did change colour according to their surroundings. But I guess Eric Carle had it more right than me. :-)