Color-changing lizards have developed an undeserved reputation as magical, but their ability is primarily down to science (with perhaps some traces of magic). Their skin tones can be altered by “tuning” the spacing between cells that contain nanocrystals which refract light refraction mechanisms. The best guide to finding chameleon for sale.
Some can do it faster and more dramatically than others, but all display bright hues when provoked or aggressive encounters occur.
Male chameleons display vibrant colors and aggressive behaviors during courtship or mating to attract females. In contrast, female chameleons usually adopt receptive or non-receptive colors when encountering males, depending on their reproductive states.
All chameleons use a change of color for communication among members of their species and predators and prey or to adjust the temperature, humidity, or environmental factors by changing light levels within their habitats.
One primary purpose of chameleons’ ability to change colors is camouflage, making it harder for predators to spot them. Smith’s dwarf chameleons, for instance, can blend in seamlessly by matching their hue to brown leaves on trees in which they perch. Chameleons also communicate to alert other chameleons of their location or health issues or express emotions.
Nerve impulses cause pigments in a chameleon’s chromatophores to move, blocking or revealing other layers, allowing this lizard to display various colors while altering eye and mouth brightness. A chameleon may display “false” or inactive colors, such as white, by closing its mouth and tilting its head backward.
Panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) boast the most extended tongue of any reptile; its long tongue can extend beyond body length and feature an adhesive suction cup at the tip for catching prey. Once fed, this powerful-jawed reptile keeps its tongue bunched up at the back of its mouth until needed again.
Chameleons stand out among reptiles by their ability to change colors and other unique traits that set them apart, such as having eyes that move independently of each other for an enhanced view of the surrounding environment as it moves around. Furthermore, these eyes can be expanded or contracted to focus on objects at various distances – similar to camera lenses.
Chameleons release an aromatic scent when stressed or excited, drawing other chameleons to breeding sites. Male chameleons also possess special glands which release scents that cause females to ejaculate and potentially become pregnant.
Should I Get a Male or Female Chameleon? While male and female chameleons can mate, most remain solitary creatures. Males typically are larger and more territorial; they also often sport brighter colors than their counterparts. To determine your chameleon’s gender, examine its feet: males will feature visible tarsal spurs — small bumps of skin on their hind feet — from birth, while females do not.
If you seek a male chameleon to breed, look for one with vibrant colors and an upward-curving snout from its base to the tail. Additionally, examine it for other indicators of gender, such as whether there is an hemipenal bulge at its tail base.