The word Calumma comes from the Latin word for covering. This genus consists of chameleons from Madagascar with occipital lobes.
The word Furcifer is derived from the Latin word “furci” or forked.
Chameleons do not have external ears or a tympanic membrane, but they do have internal ears as well as degenerated middle ears. They do not hear well but they can detect low frequency sounds.
Chameleons have a very poor sense of smell.
The word Rhampholeon is taken from the Latinized Greek “rhamphos leon” meaning crawling lion.
Many chameleon species have a bright red, orange or yellow mouth. This conspicuous interior when displayed is used as a defense against predators.
The word Rieppeleon is named after the scientist Olivier Rieppel.
Chameleons change color by rearranging a lattice of nanocrystals in one of their top layers of skin cells called iridophores. Chameleons can then stretch this layer, broadening the nanocrystalline lattice, thereby causing it to reflect a different wavelength of light.
Some chameleons play dead to avoid predation; this is called thanatosis.