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The truth about chameleons

Selection of new and second hand is impressive for the size. May 3, We've had a few Record Store Day restocks - a lot of this stuff is available in ones or twos. Open today til six, tomorrow and then closed for Easter! You can message me to reserve or if there's anything else you're interested in. Evening all. It's time for a trawl though what's coming out tomorrow. So while they may not live up to their common portrayal in entertainment media, their use of color is far more impressive than most people imagine.

Chameleon | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants

Staying hidden is pretty much their only tactic to evade predators. In their natural state, they already look a lot like leaves or branches, much like stick insects looks like In other words, chameleons can, in fact, change the color of their skin to match the environment, but within a narrow sliver on the color wheel. The more elaborate displays, such as when multiple, bright colors appear at once, are saved for another purpose entirely. Chameleons have two opposing states, Milinkovitch says. They either try to be invisible, which subtle color shifts help them achieve, or try to be seen—again by changing their color, but this time much more explosively.

No display stands out against the green forest backdrop like that of male dominance. Research has shown that some male chameleons will use color to impersonate females, which allows them to sneak by other males without the threat of competition, much like cuttlefish have been known to do. Chameleons will also use their displays to dazzle females during courtship.

Chameleons use their tongues to catch prey. A chameleon's tongue can be up to 1. Many species also have prehensile tails. They have globular eyes which rotate like turrets and move independently, allowing them to scan a wide radius to hunt for food and look out for predators. Wild caught specimens are usually extremely stressed, carry a heavy parasite load, and have difficulty acclimating to captive conditions. Chameleons are not the hardiest nor easiest reptiles to keep, and starting with a stressed pet will only make matters worse.

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In addition, the capture and shipping of chameleons which fortunately is being more tightly regulated results in the deaths of many animals. Many more die in transit than make it to the pet store.

10 Colorful Facts About Chameleons

Once you've found a captive bred chameleon, observe them. They should be bright and active, able to change colors, and have a well-fleshed body.

Being territorial and solitary animals, chameleons should be kept by themselves; males are especially aggressive toward one another. The natural habits of chameleons make them tricky to care for. They need cages with ample foliage for climbing and privacy, and the enclosure must be quite large. For the larger chameleons a cage measuring 3 feet by 3 feet by 4 feet tall should be provided, but the more space the better. Ample ventilation is required, and a cage screened on three sides is best with poly mesh or vinyl coated wire preferred to prevent toe injuries.

Branches of various diameters need to be provided for climbing and the bulk of the cage space should be filled with these branches or live foliage. Ensure that the plants are not toxic, as the chameleon may eat the foliage.