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Furcifer oustaleti (Oustalet’s Chameleon) is the longest chameleon species reaching lengths of 27 inches (68cm).
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.
Chameleons can project their tongue up to 2.2 times their body length.
The word Calumma comes from the Latin word for covering. This genus consists of chameleons from Madagascar with occipital lobes.
Chameleons do have taste buds on their tongue but overall they have a poor sense of taste.
Chameleon fossils have been found in central Europe and China, indicating they were once much more widespread than they are now.
The word Furcifer is derived from the Latin word “furci” or forked.
There are currently 202 recognized chameleon species and 85 of them are found on the island of Madagascar.
The largest chameleon species by weight is Calumma parsonii (Parson’s Chameleon).
The word Chamaeleo is derived via Latin from the Greek word khamaileon. It roughly translates to ground lion. Khamai means on the ground and leon means lion.


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