Chameleons are the most unusual lizards. Almost everyone knows that chameleons change color. In addition, these unusual animals have many other characteristics that make them the most recognizable:
- The body of the lizards is compressed from the sides, the heads are often decorated with horns and ridges;
- Excited chameleon inflates, increasing in size;
- The tail of the lizards is tenacious, often twisted in a spiral, the fingers have grown together into a claw;
- Chameleons can move their eyes independently of each other, this allows their owners not only to detect prey and enemies, but also to aim more accurately;
- With the help of a long tongue, they can catch prey at a distance greater than their own body length;
- "Shooting" with his tongue, the chameleon closes his eyes so that the resisting victim could not injure them.
Chameleons also love to hunt. To do this, they need to find a secluded, comfortable place, and then it's up to little - they "shoot" at the victim with their quick tongue. To hold the victim, chameleons use several proven methods: the extended end of the tongue acts as a sucker, there is very sticky saliva to improve its suction functions, and a small but mobile process is used to fix especially large objects.
Most of the members of the Chameleon family (Chamaeleonidae) live in Africa and Madagascar, but there are several species in the Middle East, Asia and southern Europe. Chameleons usually live in trees, some species spend most of the day on or near the ground. Chameleons move very slowly, as if swinging. These lizards, as a rule, are territorial animals, outside the breeding season showing aggressive hostility to the opposite sex, males do not tolerate each other regardless of season and age. The length of chameleons can range from 2.5 cm to 70 cm.
Madagascar Brookesia is one of the smallest chameleons, with males less than 3 cm long.
The largest chameleon species is the Malagasy giant chameleon, which also lives in the jungles of Madagascar and can grow up to 70 cm in length.