do Chameleons bite?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bsandusky, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. bsandusky

    bsandusky New Member

    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?
  2. ChameleonsTree

    ChameleonsTree New Member

    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.
  3. Jordan

    Jordan New Member

    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.
  4. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    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 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.
  5. Noseyambilobe22

    Noseyambilobe22 New Member

    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
    #5 Noseyambilobe22, Nov 27, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  6. hilohi

    hilohi New Member

    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.
  7. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    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!
  8. bsandusky

    bsandusky New Member

    another related question

    as to biting ... does it make a big difference if the chameleon is hand bred form a breeder?
  9. jesseesperto

    jesseesperto New Member

    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
  10. Jordan

    Jordan New Member

    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.
  11. Benny81

    Benny81 New Member

    handling chams

    i have and 8 month old yemen and he seems to love being handled as soon as i comeinto the room he comes tothe front of his tank and waits for meto open the door and then climbs out ontomy hand, same as if i need to go into his tank for anything food cleaning etc he sees my hand jumps right on and climbs up my arm he will climb all over me just sit on me and even sleep on me. he has never bitten me and has always seemed to happily climb onto anyway he can get too. :). im certainly no expert or pretendtoknow alot about chams but mine seems exteremly tame,
  12. Psychodrake

    Psychodrake New Member

    Sounds like my Panther. It's possible his territorial instinct hasn't quite kicked yet, I mean, he tried to climb on himself in the mirror without any sort of flare. Maybe he's just a friendly. I have been hissed at though, namely when I spooked him trying to pick dead leaves from his vivarium floor.

    Chameleons biting is all too real a threat though, so you have to be prepared to be extremely careful or possibly never handle the animal at all. Some people don't want that, in which case, it is probably possible to acclimate the animal to you if you handle them more as young'ns. People here will tell you that it's a hugely stressful experience but chances are that unless the animal is really hating your presence, it will warm up. My biggest word of advice is that if you want a chameleon to handle every now and then, I don't suggest a Veiled as they seem to be commonly aggressive compared to other species.
  13. Tanya77

    Tanya77 New Member

    I many years ago had a vicious Chameleon named Chloe that use to attack my husband every chance she got, one time she wouldn't even let go, she however didn't mind females, she absolutely hated males for some reason - It did get to the point where she started breaking the skin and was always stressed out around men and started to act sick when my husband and I moved in together. I ended up having to give her to a breeder that rescued Chameleons from owners and SPCA. I had to make sure it was a girl that got her and NOT a male.

    It was the hardest decision I had to make, but I had to, to ensure she'd live on, stress free.

    So, yes they can pack a vicious bite, the one I have now though is the sweetest thing. He's never attempted a bite but again, it doesn't mean later when he's adult, he won't.
  14. Carlton

    Carlton Chameleon Enthusiast

    Not really. Most if not all of the veiled and panther chams people have been describing in this thread were captive bred. Some breeder chams could be really nasty but their offspring just fine and vice versa.

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