5 things you didn’t know about the flapneck Chameleon
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
1. The word chameleon derives from the Ancient Greek 'Khamaileon' which in turn means 'khamai' (on the ground) 'leon' (lion). Our 'ground lion' earned its name from its defensive display of hissing and lunging.
2. Their eyelids are fused, leaving just a tiny pinhole to see through. Their eyes also revolve giving the chameleon 360º arc vision - particularly useful for spotting their next meal.
3. Nearly half if the species of chameleon are endemic to Madagascar - the majority of the rest are found on mainland Africa (like this little fella' who was spotted at Sanctuary Stanley's Camp, Botswana).
4. Ever wondered how a chameleon changes colour? This is all down to special cells (called chromatophores) that lie underneath its transparent skin. These cells are a mixture of pigminted, light-reflecting and melanin cells allowing the chameleon to manipulate its colour.
5. The flapneck species tongue can shoot out 3 times longer than its body - at the speed of 3 hundredths of a second.