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  #1  
Old 11-27-2006, 03:51 PM
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do Chameleons bite?

I've been doing a lot of reading.
I've read handling while they are still young gets them used to human contact and will help them be a freindlier pet and reduce any biting.
Other info I've read says you shouldn't handle them at all because it causes stress and they will attack.
What kinds of experiences do any of you have?
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2006, 04:07 PM
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90% of mine have never biten and i would trust them not to bite anyone. A couple of mine have only bit on exteme circumstances lie when i was checking for jaw softness. When i was biten it was more like a warning and it didnt hurt but some can deliver a bite that breaks skin. I feel its just a temperment they are born with.
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:40 PM
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I really would recommend not trying to make them friendly. Hand feeding can make them way more trusting in a lot of cases but friendly no.

Some do bite. I have had two veileds now that have bite me. The male did draw blood. The female did too. From what I have read a lot of species of chameleons teeth are to small to puncture fully through the skin. I am unclear as to what species or if that information was correct due to only finding it at one source. Both times they drew blood they did thrash their head back and forth so that may have gave them better penetration.

I would say that most chameleons would rather use their energy trying to escape then to stand and fight. Some species will play dead, others may try to jump or fall to the ground if they are threatened these moves can save their lives. Fighting will put it at risk. Whether they will do it will depend on the situation, personallity and what the threat actually is to them.
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:04 PM
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Some will never tame down and some will, but I don't think its because you handle them....its a "personality" thing....just like people have different temperaments...so do chameleons.

Their bites can do a fair bit of damage (depending on the size of the chameleon involved, of course). They can definitely draw blood. One veiled I had used to just "pinch" the skin on my hand and then twist his head until he ripped the piece off.
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Old 11-27-2006, 08:55 PM
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i was bitten by a couple of my friends panthers when i was cleaning there food cups, and it wasn't the most pleasent feeling. But i definately agree its a personality thing. My cross is super friendly and doesnt mind to be handled, but my ambilobe gets upset and tries to bite as soon as i unzip his reptarium(as you can see in my avatar pic). Every cham is different
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2006, 12:56 AM
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Chameleons do bite

I agree with what was written above and I'd like to add that even a sweet panther can bite under stressful situations.

My male panther was always very calm and gentle and never showed any aggression. In fact, when I opened his cage door he used to walk down my arm and sit on my head. He loved being outside so I would always take him out on weekends. The only problem was that he never liked coming back inside. Once I quickly tried to bring him inside and he got mad. He bit me hard and when I pulled away he fell off his branch and ripped my skin open which started bleeding immediately.

It was a very traumatic experience for both of us. Now he doesn't like coming out of his cage anymore and I'm not about to force him. I figure that in time he'll learn to trust me again.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2006, 09:35 AM
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It takes practice not to react to a bite in such a way that you either toss the chameleon through the air when you pull your hand away in shock or pull away as hilohi has described!
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:57 AM
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another related question

as to biting ... does it make a big difference if the chameleon is hand bred form a breeder?
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2006, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinyonga View Post
Some will never tame down and some will, but I don't think its because you handle them....its a "personality" thing....just like people have different temperaments...so do chameleons.

Their bites can do a fair bit of damage (depending on the size of the chameleon involved, of course). They can definitely draw blood. One veiled I had used to just "pinch" the skin on my hand and then twist his head until he ripped the piece off.
I agree with the personality thing. It also depends on your fear of being biten. My Veiled that recently passed would snap at both of us...but almost in a playfull way. She was always green and didnt seemed stressed. The only time when she was mad was if her mouth was forced open or felt threatned. I also think that you can have a say in the personality when raising them. By talking to them, not forceing them out of there cage, and hand feeding. I do not have as much exp as other members on the board and this is only my personal opinions.If you get a older cham that has been treated like crap in the store chances are he is not going to be to nice. If you do get biten do not freak and pull your finger away or worse yet drop your cham. Ther bones can get broke easily and can be a dramatic exp for them more then you...Always get captive bred
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2006, 12:10 PM
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The reason I think hand feeding makes such an impact in how they veiw you, the owner is simple. Something intruding into their territory means three possible things. One it is a predator and is looking for something to eat. I would say this is the worst. Two you are a rival competing for the same food source. Really if similar size I would say that a lot of species of chameleons might try to run out a rival. Three you are another part of their enviroment that is simply not interested in them as a food source or in their food source. By hand feeding you are trying to be the third one. This does not mean they are going to like you rather they will get use to you and your presence.
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