Reading their body language...

Lunatuck

Established Member
I really enjoy watching Cosmo and trying to understand a bit about body language and what I can learn from it. I know that various colors can represent different moods, but so far, nothing has been obvious. There are two things he does that I can read.

First, when I open the cage with the cup in my hand, I can show him the crickets and he will shake his head a bit. That means he is hungry and will take one from my hand if I offer. If he doesn't shake his head, I put them in the cage for him to hunt. I could be wrong, but I feel like the head shake is him getting his tongue ready. Either way, he does it a few seconds before taking one out of my hand as well.

The second, and I love this one, he starts heading towards the middle-bottom of the cage. It happens at about 8:30pm. I can see the determination on his face, and I know exactly where he's going. There is no feeding or watering at this point, he's getting ready for bed. When he gets to his spot, he curls his tail up perfectly and arches his back a bit, then goes to sleep. He doesn't move until the morning light comes through the window. He doesn't really become active until the lights in the cage turn on.

I'm curious what cues you guys have seen from your chams.
 

Calypratus

Established Member
My veiled chameleon (edgar) used to go near her favorite branch in the morning and wait there until i fed her. She would'nt budge from that spot on days i didn't feed her (I fed her every other day).
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
"head shake" is getting a 3d/stereo view of whats going on and what he is interested in. Its kinda like going from camera one to camera 2.

I think what is more lizard universal is the closing of eyes when food is offered. This is universal for "im not gonna even try to eat this".
 

KRGEE21

Avid Member
I'm still trying to figure this one out.when we put the feeder cup in the morning she arches her back end up and curls/uncurls her tail several times. Then heads for breakfast
Doesn't head for a hiding spot or go sideways on the branch like a can't see me pose. :unsure:
Territorial display? Warning? Have not seen the male do it.
Carpet Chams
 

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snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Charlie cocks his head to the side like a dog when he is thinking... I notice it most when I offer food in my hand, and he is deciding if he wants to eat the food or make a break for it and jump on my arm to come out. Can literally see him thinking... READYSETGO!

He is also a master of SNEAK. He will watch me... and when he thinks I'm not looking he be-lines it for places he knows he's not allowed (like the bottom of the free range tree, aka cat territory). If I look at him directly... he will stop, and sometimes even turn around... but as soon as I look away he starts hustling again. Then I'll look and he'll freeze. "She can't see us if we don't move." It's sort of like we are playing red light - green light. If I catch him too low I put my hand out and he looks at me with complete disappointment. So close!!! He has loads of character and is very adventurous and curious.

Clarice is a bit trickier to figure out. She's a little skiddish, so I think I miss a lot of her behavior because she is very aware of when she is being watched. I do think she has figured out how to make bugs explode on command, though. Charlie's bugs never explode but I swear to God Clarice shoots me in the face with bug guts at LEAST every other day. and I'm fairly sure it is on purpose.

Her colors are pretty obvious. When she is legitimately afraid she will turn bright yellow with black dots. When she is happy she is bright green, and when she is "iffy" she is a slightly darker green with "freckles." I haven't figured out Charlie's colors. He usually stays shades of olive green and occasionally oranges in his tail. He turns very pale green when he is sleepy.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I always associated the head shake with excitement." Yes, ready to eat"&" Yes, really like that female". I watch their eyes if they follow me they are hungry and I should hurry up. If they look around it means I have brought the wrong food or am trespassing and they are looking for somewhere else to be.
 
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