Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|2.8cm - 68.5cm (1.1in - 27in)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|0.01kg - 2kg (0.02lbs - 4.4lbs)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|4 - 8 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Green, Brown, Black, Yellow, Red, Tan|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Tropical forests and desert|
|Average Clutch Size:|
The average number of eggs laid at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Insects, Snails, Leaves|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Snakes, Birds, Mammals|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Exceptional vision and ability to change skin colour|
Map of Africa
The chameleon is a very distinctive and well-known species of lizard, due to the large eyes and curled tail of the chameleon. Chameleons are found throughout jungle and desert alike, in Africa, Asia and parts of Southern Europe and chameleons have also been introduced to parts of North America.
There are thought to be more than 160 different species of chameleon that range from just an inch to more than a couple of feet in size. The tiny pygmy leaf chameleon, found in the jungles of Madagascar, is the smallest species of chameleon, with some males measuring less than 3 cm long.
The largest species of chameleon, the Malagasy giant chameleon, is also natively found in the jungles of Madagascar and can grow to nearly 70 cm in length. Parson's chameleon, also found in Madagascar can grow to around 65 cm in length.
Some species of chameleon, although not all, are able to change the colour of their skin in order to be camouflaged into their surroundings. These colour changes in the chameleon's skin colour can include colours such as pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, light blue, yellow and turquoise, all so that the chameleon can blend in more easily.
The chameleon has exceptional eyesight for a reptile as the structure of the chameleon's eye, allows the chameleon to have complete 360 degree vision around its body. This special adaptation, allows the chameleon to be able to hunt prey and spot predators more effectively.
The chameleon is generally an omnivorous animal, although some chameleon species are known to have a more carnivorous diet, and other chameleon species prefer to be vegetarians. A chameleon will generally eat anything though including berries, leaves, fruits, insects, worms, snails and some of the larger chameleon species will also hunt small reptiles.
Due to the generally small size of the chameleon, they are often a prime target for hungry predators (when the chameleon can be seen that is). Other tree dwelling animals such as snakes and birds are the most common predators of the chameleon, along with some mammals.
In order to bury her eggs to keep them safe and warm, the female chameleon first digs a hole in the forest floor in which to bury them. The hole can be from 10 to 30 cm deep, but the depth of the hole generally depends on the chameleon species.
The female chameleon then lays a clutch of around 20 eggs, although the exact number of eggs can vary from just one to nearly 100. The chameleon eggs take from 4-12 months to hatch, depending on the chameleon species.
Today many chameleon species are considered to be threatened with extinction, and other chameleon species are even considered to be endangered. The declining chameleon numbers are most likely due to habitat changes such as pollution and deforestation.
Are you Safe?
Are you Safe? is an online safety campaign by A-Z-Animals.com. If something has upset you, the Are you Safe? campaign can help you to speak to someone who can help you.Are you Safe?
Update your Chameleon phobia filter.
View printer friendly version of Chameleon article.
Learn how you can use or cite the Chameleon article in your website content, school work and other projects.
First Published: 16th December 2009, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 16 Dec 2009]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 16 Dec 2009]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 16 Dec 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 16 Dec 2009]