Veileds and plants

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Recently, I suggested in more than one place that veiled chameleons are not truly plant eaters, and that their habit of plant grazing was not nutritionally driven. Indeed, I think I said, “veileds do not have the hardware to properly digest plant material.” To be perfectly honest, I am not a biologist, nor do I have anything but here-say to back this up. My apologies. Sometimes I spout out what I take as rationally sound information as though I was there for the scientific study. Ego, hubris. While my intuitions are that these are facts, my evidence is sorely lacking.

Yikes! Kaizen might be in danger of becoming an unreflective dogmatist.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
When I had my first veiled I only saw him eat the new growth of his hibiscus tree and it was maybe twice he did that. The veiled I have now, all the pothos in the viv are intact. I’ve offered greens and some fruit and he just looks at it with no interest.
I know fiber in general is hard for our intestines to break down so we have mechanisms in place to help in the breakdown of plant matter. I wonder if chameleon saliva has been tested for digestive enzymes?

On another note, with chameleons having short digestive tracts why don’t they poop everyday? My Cham eats about every other day but only goes about twice a week.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
When I had my first veiled I only saw him eat the new growth of his hibiscus tree and it was maybe twice he did that. The veiled I have now, all the pothos in the viv are intact. I’ve offered greens and some fruit and he just looks at it with no interest.
I know fiber in general is hard for our intestines to break down so we have mechanisms in place to help in the breakdown of plant matter. I wonder if chameleon saliva has been tested for digestive enzymes?

On another note, with chameleons having short digestive tracts why don’t they poop everyday? My Cham eats about every other day but only goes about twice a week.
Interesting. I don’t know the answer there. Maybe the physical length of the digestive tract doesn’t always entail the length of time food stays there?
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Recently, I suggested in more than one place that veiled chameleons are not truly plant eaters, and that their habit of plant grazing was not nutritionally driven. Indeed, I think I said, “veileds do not have the hardware to properly digest plant material.” To be perfectly honest, I am not a biologist, nor do I have anything but here-say to back this up. My apologies. Sometimes I spout out what I take as rationally sound information as though I was there for the scientific study. Ego, hubris. While my intuitions are that these are facts, my evidence is sorely lacking.

Yikes! Kaizen might be in danger of becoming an unreflective dogmatist.
Not going to let you die on your own sword out there all alone, saw this last night but wanted to let you sweat it out a bit!

Tossing you a life ring here... lol You may be more of a biologist than you think!
https://www.chameleons.info/l/why-it-is-not-true-that-the-veileds-eat-leaves-neither-for-the-purpose-of-additional-hydration-nor-for-nutrition/

Credit: Petr Necas
Why It Is NOT True That The Veileds Eat Leaves Neither For The Purpose Of Additional Hydration Nor For Nutrition?
24/09/2019

The primary reason often cited of increasing water intake through eating leaves (and other plant material) is doubtful, because the massive eating leaves happens in the rainy season, when there is enough rain water to drink. So, it makes no sense for them to eat leaves if they are anyway richly hydrated...

In the dry season it is pointless to eat greens for additional water intake, as there are either no green leaves at all or, if there are any, they are completely dry, so no water can be extracted from them.

Why the purposely eating green leaves is NOT the nutrition?

The most of the plant material is indigestible for chameleons and it passes through the digestive tract with almost no modification than partly dehydration and partly degrading through the poo-forming process.

So, why they eat green leaves at all?

The reason is simple but very spectacular. In the rainy period, which is very limited in time in Yemen, and lasts 5months maximum, they eat what is available widely: nymphs of orthopterans and caterpillars which are specifically abundant in the grass and lower bush level, to which in the period of their growth their presence is confined. Both food items have one in common: they are not rich in chitin, means in indigestible particles. Chameleon's peristaltic is due to the relatively short digestive tract not well adapted for passing amorphous gut content (which you get out of caterpillars), thus they use indigestible plant material to better pass the food through their digestive tract. I have seen many faeces of them, which looked like the actual dropping is wrapped in a rolled-together leave.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
So not to knock anyone here, infact I'm glad this was brought up again, but this exact topic has been talked about years ago. You can probably find me and few others somewhere, saying something similar in past conversations. Of course, I'm glad someone like necas can confirm it. To me it was just common sense(I have no scientific background)... humans are omnivores and STILL struggle to digest nutrients in vegetation, so why would a chameleon, specifically only a couple of species, be able to? Sure it's possible I guess, but seems doubtful. Don't many other animals eat plant matter just for the fiber? Not exactly groundbreaking IMHO.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
How many years ago grandpaw? lol
It was more of casual conversation. I remember, I think nightanole mentioned it. Prob 2 years? Nothing like what petr posted, basically I'm saying, I'm glad to see this put out there more when a few people only mentioned it being a possibility in the past.

And I'm glad because I think people put too much emphasis on feeding veileds vegetables! Eat your bug meat, no vegan chams
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
As I started this thread, I don’t feel totally bad for the slight derailing here:

what colour of leash do veiled chameleons prefer? EverytimeI wall my veileds, they seem uncomfortable and I assume it has to do with leash colour.
 
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