Omnivores...why do,some chameleons eat vegetation, etc?

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
https://www.intechopen.com/books/herbivores/herbivory-by-lizards
"The chameleon Furcifer oustaleti (Mocquard, 1894) consume plant parts using different mechanism of collection if compared with animal prey. The capture of arthropods occurs through the projection of his tongue, while the consumption of fruit, for example, takes place by direct collection of the jaws. The mechanism indicates that the individuals identify the food item before consuming them and, since there is no need to capture vegetables items, the chameleons opt for direct collection, saving energy spent on the tongue projection".

If they are adjusting their method of ingesting the food from shooting the tongue out to capture an insect to direct collection for vegetation, etc then it's intentional...so what drives them to eat vegetation etc...hydration, need for nutrients, some other reason? Veiled females often strip pothos plants bare when gravid...why?

Does the length of the digestive system differ from the ones that do eat vegetation, etc to the ones that don't?

Do the digestive systems of the "omnivore" chameleons contain different enzymes or bacteria to digest the vegetation, etc?
 
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Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Again, my intuitions are that there aren’t any omnivore chameleons, and that our informational position will have changed since this article was published.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
Strangely (I think)
Of my three male Veileds, only one of them eats plants. And that one has also started to eat fruit left in my feeder box to feed the crickets.
The other two have shown no interest in vegetation.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
If I put a cricket in front of a chameleon and it eats it this time and then every time I put a cricket in front of it it eats it, why would it do it? Because it needs the nutrition from it? It just liked the taste? The cricket moved?
If it eats a piece of vegetation/fruit/veggie put in front of it and it eats it and I repeat the process from time to time and it eats it, why does it eat it? Because it needs it in its diet? Because it liked the taste?
if it eats the vegetation only in dry seasons or when it's looking for hydration then I wouldn't call it an omnivore...but if it eats it whenever it's offered to it then it's either always dehydrated or it's an omnivore. Correct me if you think there's another reason.
 
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Ramrod

Avid Member
If I put a cricket in front of a chameleon and it eats it this time and then every time I put a cricket in front of it it eats it, why would it do it? Because it needs the nutrition from it? It just liked the taste? The cricket moved?
If it eats a piece of vegetation/fruit/veggie put in front of it and it eats it and I repeat the process from time to time and it eats it, why does it eat it? Because it needs it in its diet? Because it liked the taste?
if it eats the vegetation only in dry seasons or when it's looking for hydration then I wouldn't call it an omnivore...but if it eats eat whenever it's offered to it then it's either always dehydrated or it's an omnivore. Correct me if you think there's another
If you put a cricket and a piece of fruit in front of my veiled,he will eat the fruit everytime. Sometimes I think he is lazy and it is easier to get the fruit than the bug?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
If I put a cricket in front of a chameleon and it eats it this time and then every time I put a cricket in front of it it eats it, why would it do it? Because it needs the nutrition from it? It just liked the taste? The cricket moved?
If it eats a piece of vegetation/fruit/veggie put in front of it and it eats it and I repeat the process from time to time and it eats it, why does it eat it? Because it needs it in its diet? Because it liked the taste?
if it eats the vegetation only in dry seasons or when it's looking for hydration then I wouldn't call it an omnivore...but if it eats eat whenever it's offered to it then it's either always dehydrated or it's an omnivore. Correct me if you think there's another reason.
Very interesting. How do they even know if plant matter is food? How did they figure out that the stationary dark purple half balls I gave them are for eating? I gave each a hibiscus flower a few days ago and both went to town on it. To my knowledge, they never had blueberries or flowers before living with me. When I am feeding them bsfl, they watch carefully and make sure they are moving before eating them. If a bsfl is playing dead, they won’t touch it. This is certainly a subject that perhaps has been too readily dismissed. Like you, I have not seen any plant matter in the poo.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
Mine so far have ignored Hibiscus flowers .
My tortoises, koi and my wifes birds eat them.
I have an endless supply and I'll try to introduce them again soon.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
If I put a cricket in front of a chameleon and it eats it this time and then every time I put a cricket in front of it it eats it, why would it do it? Because it needs the nutrition from it? It just liked the taste? The cricket moved?
If it eats a piece of vegetation/fruit/veggie put in front of it and it eats it and I repeat the process from time to time and it eats it, why does it eat it? Because it needs it in its diet? Because it liked the taste?
if it eats the vegetation only in dry seasons or when it's looking for hydration then I wouldn't call it an omnivore...but if it eats eat whenever it's offered to it then it's either always dehydrated or it's an omnivore. Correct me if you think there's another reason.
I can’t tell if you’re being ironic here.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Kaizen ... Just trying to figure out what the truth is...are they just insectivores and use the vegetation as a "tool" to aid in hydration or digestion of something else or are they are using the vegetation for the nutrients and thus omnivores ...or maybe they use it for all of those reasons?
 
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Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Kaizen ... Just trying to figure out what the truth is...are they just insectivores and use the vegetation as a "tool" to aid in hydration or digestion of something else or are they are using the vegetation for the nutrients ...or maybe they use it for all of those reasons?
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@Kaizen ... Just trying to figure out what the truth is...are they just insectivores and use the vegetation as a "tool" to aid in hydration or digestion of something else or are they are using the vegetation for the nutrients ...or maybe they use it for all of those reasons?
@kinyonga, I actually thought you were making a different point. Now that I re-read it, I understand. I don’t actually know I have much more to contribute to this discussion yet. I am, however, trying to piece some literature together, that may or may not be helpful, but I’ve been a bit sidetracked lately...in-laws visiting.
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Kaizen ... Just trying to figure out what the truth is...are they just insectivores and use the vegetation as a "tool" to aid in hydration or digestion of something else or are they are using the vegetation for the nutrients and thus omnivores ...or maybe they use it for all of those reasons?
so hard to tell with veiled.. they come from a place were every single piece of something with food must be used if there nothing else. so the real question is if he have the choice between one bugs and one piece of green, what would be the choice?

I've seen baby eating dry leaves maybe this is about mineral, digestion (fibre intake) or because there was something too small for me to notice or with medecinal proprety

a study to know if they have saliva amylase could be great!

Edit : the saliva of a chameleon is thick (400x ticker than human salive) and its not present in quantity.. my guess is they donc have the saliva made to digest (important characteristic of herbivore or omnivore) and so.. they probably hardly digest the vegetation.. they might use it for digestion) another experiment can be to feed for one week a chameleon exclusively on fruit and green and to examine poop contents : what is digested what is not! ;)
 
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Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
Love this topic. It is one that I have strong ideas on, but want to see where the discussion goes prior to commenting. Keep the ideas flowing!!!
 
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