This species is also known as Yemen chameleons as they originate from Yemen. They are scientifically known as Chamaeleo Calyptratus. Chameleons have the tendency to change their color as per their mood, which also acts as a great defense mechanism, if they feel threatened. They are known to have a green color as their base coat, which has yellow, brown and blue stripes. Young females are green in color with slight white marks across their coat. The crest on their heads is one of the adaptations to help them survive the harsh climates of the deserts and mountains of Saudi Arabia.
One unique fact about chameleons is the way it changes its color. These reptiles come in varied colors and sizes. It is very interesting and amazing to know how chameleons change their color. Many of us know that these reptiles change color to adapt to their surroundings, but the real reason behind this change of color depends on their emotional state. Chameleons have colored pigments, that are present in layers in a chameleon's outer skin. These cells are known as chromatophores which have different colored pigments in different layers. The top layer of the skin has yellow colored pigments while the lower layers have blue or white pigments.
Changes in these cells bring a change in the color of the chameleon. In case of a change in the mood of these chameleons, the lime green skin color usually changes into a red olive color. The environment in which these chameleons dwell contributes to the change in their color. The brain transmits signals, which allows the cells to expand or contract and mix which ultimately results in rapid color change.
Some Fun Facts
- Though each chameleon has its own favorites, its diet mainly consists of crickets, cockroaches, silkworms, and meal worms.
- These chameleons come with a crest also termed as a veil, from which they derive their name. The males are larger than the females and are more attractive. They have brighter colors on their body to attract the attention of females and to compete with other male competitors. Chameleons can move each eye separately and can thoroughly scan their surroundings.
- These arboreal reptiles originate from Yemen, Saudi Arabia and are built to live in the rough desert and mountain climate. These chameleons can live in water as well as on land and can adapt to different temperatures. They mainly live on trees and bushes.
- They have a flat body that resembles a leaf and have feet that give them good grip to hang on to tree branches.
- They have a long sticky tongue that can instantly catch and kill their prey. Their ability to wait for long hours and change colors, make them great and smart predators.
- These lizards are termed as omnivores as they can also consume fruits and leaves during the time of drought. Lack of water can cause dehydration in them.
- The female chameleon reaches sexual maturity by 3-4 months. It lays 2-3 clutches of eggs that contain at least 20-70 eggs.
- These chameleons have excellent color changing tendencies that can prevent them from becoming visible and trick their predator. Rather than blending into the environment, chameleons change color to feel more comfortable. If they feel cold, they might change into a darker color as it will absorb heat and keep them warm. Even their mood stimulates their mind to change the color. If the chameleon is angry, it changes the color to red.
These charismatic lizards do attract a lot of animals lovers towards them and so have become popular pets around the house. These animals are born wild and can survive well in their natural habitat. Keeping such stunning lizards as pets is not easy and requires a great amount of dedication and care.