A picture of a veiled chameleon.

Veiled Chameleon

Chameleons are famous for their ability to change the color of their skin. In fact the word “chameleon” has become synonymous with something that changes easily to mimic its environment. Interestingly this color change in a real chameleon is more related to mood changes than actual camouflage to blend into the environment.

A picture of a veiled chameleon.

Veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) living in the Toronto Zoo.

Chameleons have eyes that move independently and see pretty much everything all around — makes it harder to surprise a chameleon, or hide from it if you are an insect that the chameleon hunts as prey. Chameleons like to climb onto things and they are very well built for it. Their feet can grip branches and they have a prehensile tail. Chameleons also have a rather long tongue that they can shoot out and grip insects with.

I took the picture above in the Toronto Zoo, where it lives in the Africa exhibit — I do not own any chameleons but some people like to keep a veiled chameleon as an exotic pet. Chameleons are not cuddly creatures and don’t particularly like to be handled or petted. Veiled chameleons eat mostly insects with some plant matter on the side. They need plenty of climbing space as well as various lamps for basking in both heat (IR) and UV light.

Judging from the large number of home videos featuring chameleons, mostly veiled chameleons, on YouTube, many people must think that it is a good idea to keep one as a pet.

They do show beautiful coloration, so if you are into keeping reptiles a veiled chameleon is certainly an option.

Veiled chameleon.

Veiled chameleon — at the same location at a different day.

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Last updated: September 29, 2014

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