Chameleon Facts


On this page are a few chameleon facts.


Chameleon Information
Chameleons belong to the lizard group of reptiles. There are about 160 species of them and they belong to the family Chamaeleonidae.


Distinctive features of a chameleon lizard are its long tongue, its separately mobile eyes, its parrot-like feet and in many species, the ability to change colour.

Oustalet's Chameleon Portrait, Madagascar
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Where Do Chameleons Live?
The vast majority of them lives in Madagascar and sub-saharan Africa.



But there are also a few species in India, Sri Lanka, Middle East, southern Europe and northern Africa. And they have been introduced to some states in the US, including California, Florida and Hawaii.
Chameleon, Madagascar
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Chameleon Habitat
They are mostly tropical rainforest animals and most species live up in the trees. But there are also species that live on the ground, and in other, drier habitats such as deserts and savannah grasslands.
 
Blue Chameleon Clings to a Branch in Madagascar
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How Do Chameleons Change Color?
They have got special pigment cells under their skin which can quickly change their pigments. Different species can change to yellow, blue, brown, black, green, orange, red, blue or pink. As in some other reptlies, the colour often changes with moods. This is a way to communicate to other individuals of the same species.

Chameleon Camouflage
Some species are also able to change color depending on their background. This is a very clever way to camouflage.


Panther Chameleon Lizard, Ambanja, Madagascar
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What Chameleon Species are Found in Madagascar?
There are 11 species found on Madagascar: Calumma brevicornis, Calumma gastrotaenia, Calumma nasuta, Calumma parsonii, Brookesia nasus, Brookesia Superciliaris, Brookesia stumpffi; and Furcifer lateralis, Furcifer pardalis, Furcifer oustaleti and Furcifer verrucosus.

Pygmy Chameleon, Madagascar

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