Facts about Chameleon (Reptile)

in raptile •  last year


Chameleon facts

Chameleon's eyes move independently in their sockets enabling them to look in two different directions at once. Chameleons have a full 360-degree view when looking at a prey, they focus their eyes quickly and enlarge like a camera lens. The most fascinating feature of chameleon is their ability to change colors . They do this by adjusting two layers of specialized cells within their skin. These cells, called iridophore cells, have pigment and reflect light. Iridophore cells contain tiny nanocrystals, the key to a chameleons color-changing ability. Chameleons can expand and reduce the distance between those nanaocrystals. When the chameleon is in a relaxed state, the nanocrystals in iridophore cells are held closely together. In this position, the cells reflect short wavelengths, such as blue light when filitered through their yellow skin pigments, it makes the reptile look green. When distance is increased, the crystal reflect yellow or red light the reptile's skin color then changes accordingly. Chameleons can change to a different color in just about 20 seconds. It changes its color to control body temperature. Color changing is also a way of communication, or to express emotions.

Chameleons have a tongue that is as long as 1.5 to 2 times of its body length. They project their tongue at an extremely high speed. Chameleons tongue hits its prey in as little as 0.07 seconds, the acceleration of their tongue touches as high as 96 kmph. Chameleons have two unique muscles that accomplish this task. The accelerator muscle, which ejects the tongue at high speeds and the hypoglossus, which snaps the tongue back with the prey attached on the end. The chameleon spit is unbelievably sticky, its saliva is about 400 times thicker than that of Humans. This ultra-sticky substance coats the tongue, giving them an edge that helps them pull even heavy victims into their jaws.

Chameleons do not have ears but they are not completely deaf. They can pick up sound frequencies in their range of 200-600 Hz. There is a huge variation in the size of the chameleons. World's smallest chameleon, the leaf chameleon is just about 1.27cm. while the largest one is about 76cm long. The oldest identified chameleon lived 60 million years ago. Chameleons can see in both visible and ultraviolet light. UV light allows chameleons to better target their prey. When exposed to UV light, they show increased social behaviour and activity levels. This is die to the stimulation of pineal glands in chameleons under UV light. Many chameleons have bony crest on their heads which illuminates and emits blue light under UV lamp. Scientists have yet to find out how to chameleons use their fluorescence...

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