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.