Chameleon knows to spit out nonfood??

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've witnessed this one or two times in the past, but this most recent time has me almost convinced that chameleons know what to swallow what not... My boy went for a superworm in his feeder dish yesterday that happened to fall under a dead ficus alii leaf(which dry and are somewhat hard for a dead leaf). He grabbed both of them. I watched as he carefully chewed the superworm all while keeping the leaf/stem at the roof of his mouth. It was definitely no accident how he maneuvered the superworm down without the leaf. Once he swallowed the superworm, he used his tongue to push the leaf back to the front of his mouth and then wiped his mouth on a tree to get the leaf out. It was very impressive! Now, this leaf he could have chewed up and passed without problems, but it made me think... Maybe they are aware of potential choking or impaction risks from things that aren't really edible to a chameleon. He knew it wasn't food and was able to keep it in his mouth and then remove it once he finished without an problem. I didn't even think chameleons could spit out food that easily(I've seen it on a handful of occasions with my panther that would protest eating roaches). Even though I don't worry a whole lot about impaction, I still try to be aware of anything they could choke on and still plan to be, but this definitely eased my mind.

Little side thought, I've seen my cham eat fresh leaves when grabbing an insects off a tree. I bet this happens often in the wild. I wonder if this plays a part in their everyday nutrition... Could explain why veileds seem unharmed by eating pothos, they have adapted to live on and eat many toxic plants.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I'm glad someone brought this up. I tend to really on a cham having some concept of danger. I worry more about impaction. I cut the legs off my hoppers, they're quite firm and can be sharp. I noticed the other day that when Dex (male nosy faly) would chew the hopper... he'd actually chew the leg off and let them drop. The reason I started cutting the legs is I'd find them hanging in his enclosure. It's only recently I noticed this so I tried it on my female - same results. Some times they had trouble with a leg, but I'd say 80% of legs drop. I've been trying to get a photo of how they position it.

I definitely think there's something here.
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
All makes sense. I've never seen my veiled spit anything out though. Generally, if it fits in his mouth or he can take a bite out of it, he eats it... I learned quick to make sure everything is safe for him in his enclosure lol
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I recall reading a study somewhere that said greens were found in substantial quantities in the stomach contents of dissected veileds. I've certainly watched my guys take a chunk out of a leaf when eating off them, and Clarice very happily eats kale when offered.

Its funny you say that as yesterday I removed something from not one, but two of my guys mouths. Both were pushing out non-food items out of the corner of their mouths (small piece of dirt/leaf litter after snatching up bugs). I definitely think that they know the difference between food and objects, maybe by feel?
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I recall reading a study somewhere that said greens were found in substantial quantities in the stomach contents of dissected veileds. I've certainly watched my guys take a chunk out of a leaf when eating off them, and Clarice very happily eats kale when offered.

Its funny you say that as yesterday I removed something from not one, but two of my guys mouths. Both were pushing out non-food items out of the corner of their mouths (small piece of dirt/leaf litter after snatching up bugs). I definitely think that they know the difference between food and objects, maybe by feel?
Yeah and I guess taste? I was talking more to do with other chameleons that we don't see taking bites out of plants. Veileds do this all the time, but I wonder if the species that don't still get a lot of plant matter from grabbing insects off leaves.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
All makes sense. I've never seen my veiled spit anything out though. Generally, if it fits in his mouth or he can take a bite out of it, he eats it... I learned quick to make sure everything is safe for him in his enclosure lol
Has your veiled ever grabbed an eaten anything that was large and inedible? (Not that you'd want him to)
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm glad someone brought this up. I tend to really on a cham having some concept of danger. I worry more about impaction. I cut the legs off my hoppers, they're quite firm and can be sharp. I noticed the other day that when Dex (male nosy faly) would chew the hopper... he'd actually chew the leg off and let them drop. The reason I started cutting the legs is I'd find them hanging in his enclosure. It's only recently I noticed this so I tried it on my female - same results. Some times they had trouble with a leg, but I'd say 80% of legs drop. I've been trying to get a photo of how they position it.

I definitely think there's something here.
Very interesting, I'm working on some grasshoppers atm too. Some roaches have very spikey legs too. Some of the larger ones have made me need before. Never seen them bother my cham though.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah and I guess taste? I was talking more to do with other chameleons that we don't see taking bites out of plants. Veileds do this all the time, but I wonder if the species that don't still get a lot of plant matter from grabbing insects off leaves.
Definitely - I've seen the panthers pull entire (thin, flexible) branches up towards them when they shoot a bug off of a leaf. I don't notice too many incidental bite marks in their plants, though. They seem to get a plant leaf and finesse their way out of it, where as Charlie (who won't eat leaves on purpose) will just take a bit out of the leaf to the get the bug and take the easy way out.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Very interesting, I'm working on some grasshoppers atm too. Some roaches have very spikey legs too. Some of the larger ones have made me need before. Never seen them bother my cham though.
I don't know that they "bother" the chams to eat the legs... but my guess is that with most legs, there's no nutrition. So if you can nip the leg and avoid them, why not? (The legs pop off surprisingly easy... similar to a cricket. I think the crickets/hoppers can actually jettison their jumping legs much like an anoles tail)

Pure speculation of course, just makes sense. I haven't noticed this with anything else really, but I've just started branching out into the realm of insects I can feed them
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Definitely - I've seen the panthers pull entire (thin, flexible) branches up towards them when they shoot a bug off of a leaf. I don't notice too many incidental bite marks in their plants, though. They seem to get a plant leaf and finesse their way out of it, where as Charlie (who won't eat leaves on purpose) will just take a bit out of the leaf to the get the bug and take the easy way out.
Yeah I noticed that with Panthers too, but my Parsons tongue is so strong usually the leaves come with it lol.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't know that they "bother" the chams to eat the legs... but my guess is that with most legs, there's no nutrition. So if you can nip the leg and avoid them, why not? (The legs pop off surprisingly easy... similar to a cricket. I think the crickets/hoppers can actually jettison their jumping legs much like an anoles tail)

Pure speculation of course, just makes sense. I haven't noticed this with anything else really, but I've just started branching out into the realm of insects I can feed them
I'm not against the idea. For some. it is definitely necessary. I'm just saying I haven't seen it cause my cham any problems. He wants roaches that are moving in certain directions and it won't help if the roach can't move lol.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Yeah and I guess taste? I was talking more to do with other chameleons that we don't see taking bites out of plants. Veileds do this all the time, but I wonder if the species that don't still get a lot of plant matter from grabbing insects off leaves.
As far as Panthers go, my male is a dead shot. My female is good but shes dealing with MBD (Fing petco]... I'm not sure if aim and timing play into it? Panthers may be more opportunistic. I've had them both "herp-a-derp" where they go double barrel on their target, hunch up, stick out their tongue..... and stay exactly like that because the feeder moved. It has something to do with what they're aiming at moving, depth perception, or some combo therein.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I'm not against the idea. For some. it is definitely necessary. I'm just saying I haven't seen it cause my cham any problems. He wants roaches that are moving in certain directions and it won't help if the roach can't move lol.
Yea. The only thing mine touch that isn't rapidly flailing are the katydids. I've heard green banana roaches are similar.... wondering if it's the bright green. Not sure where you get hornworms, but those also have a neon green hue. (The wild variant outside my house. The pet shop ones are teal)
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I went into my young adult male Jackson's cage one morning and had to pull a large rock out of his mouth. I didn't see how he got it in there. It could have been while shooting a bug or he was chewing it on purpose. He really didn't want to give it up.
Maybe he would have dropped it on his own. It was too big to swallow but I couldn't wait to see what might happen.
I think as they age the sort food better but when they are really growing they are hungry enough to make mistakes.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I went into my young adult male Jackson's cage one morning and had to pull a large rock out of his mouth. I didn't see how he got it in there. It could have been while shooting a bug or he was chewing it on purpose. He really didn't want to give it up.
Maybe he would have dropped it on his own. It was too big to swallow but I couldn't wait to see what might happen.
I think as they age the sort food better but when they are really growing they are hungry enough to make mistakes.
I think a growing Parsons is as hungry as one gets, no? :ROFLMAO:
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I went into my young adult male Jackson's cage one morning and had to pull a large rock out of his mouth. I didn't see how he got it in there. It could have been while shooting a bug or he was chewing it on purpose. He really didn't want to give it up.
Maybe he would have dropped it on his own. It was too big to swallow but I couldn't wait to see what might happen.
I think as they age the sort food better but when they are really growing they are hungry enough to make mistakes.
In his defense - I ate some pretty stupid things as a kid, and it wasn't because I was hungry! (like paper, grass, pennies, etc. so nope to dope kids!)
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Has your veiled ever grabbed an eaten anything that was large and inedible? (Not that you'd want him to)
Mine has. I was thought she could handle a big horn worm and I was mistaken. It seemed to bit her but she still tried and she eventually dropped it.
 
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