Common Name: Veiled Chameleon

Scientific Name: Chamaeleon calyptratus

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Sauria

Family: Iguania

Genus: Chamaeleo

Species: C. calyptratus

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Veiled chameleons vary in size. The males can be up to14-18in (35-45cm) but can get up to 24in (60cm). The adult females can get up to 12(30cm). They can turn many different colors. Most people think it is for camouflage but really it is more for mood. They turn greens and browns when calm. They turn brightly colored when frightened or guarding territory against other chameleons.

 

They have special eyes that can swivel almost 180 degrees. They can look in two different directions at once. And they can follow moving objects without moving their head or body. Their hands and tails are specially made to help them climb trees. They have grasping hands that work like humans hands. They have three fingers stuck together that face toward the inside. They have a sticky tongue that when all the way extended is longer than their body.

 

Their role in the food web is that they are omnivores. They eat leaves, blossoms, fruits, and insects. Because they have special eyes the turn 180 degrees they do not have to move. This gives them an advantage because they do not have to move so their prey won’t hear them. Another advantage is their color changing. Because they can blend in, their prey can’t see them. The last advantage is that their hands are specially curved in so they can climb trees easily.

 

They are mostly found in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. They live in a verity of habitats. They live in desert plateaus, mountains, and river valleys. They prefer 75°f-95°f and can be found up to 3000 feet. In their environment they mostly are calm and stay in one place. But on rare occasions they might get scared or agitated when protecting territory from other chameleons. They mostly live in solitude the males can be especially aggressive to one another. The male veiled chameleons are more territorial than other male chameleons are. The only time males and females get along is during mating season.

 

Veiled chameleons have been losing their habitat to construct homes, farms, mining, burning, and logging. At the rate we are consuming their habitat they might not be able to adjust to the new environment quick enough. They have only been known to be able to evolve in isolated environments. The main reason they are going extinct is because they are taken out of their habitat and they really depend on their environment. Another reason the chameleon population is going down is because the natives in Yemen and Saudi Arabia believe that burning the chameleons is good luck. Also they are sold for parts for two reasons. One for rituals and the second is it is sold to tourist.

 

The veiled chameleon’s females live up to 5 years and the males can live up to 5 years. They are able to reproduce within 4 to 5 months of birth. The females turn light to bark green with yellow and blue spots. They only do this if the mating is successful. Eggs will be laid 20-30 days after mating. Their laid eggs are called a clutch. The female chameleons lay 35-80 eggs in one clutch. The clutches will be laid three times a year. Their eggs are white and oval shaped. They have tough skin shells. They are usually buried in warm sand.

 

Author: Louise H

Published: 03/2009

 

Sources:

Kar, Galia V., ed. A larencontre des animaux. "Veiled Chameleon -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 06 Feb. 2009 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veiled_Chameleon. "Veiled Chameleon Fact Sheet - National Zoo| FONZ." Welcome to the National Zoo| FONZ website - National Zoo| FONZ. 06 Feb. 2009 http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ReptilesAmphibians/Facts/FactSheets/Veiledcameleon.cfm. "Veiled chameleon." Home. 06 Feb. 2009 http://www.bristolzoo.org.uk/learning/animals/reptiles/chameleon. "Veiled Chameleon Printout- EnchantedLearning.com." ENCHANTED LEARNINGHOME PAGE. 06 Feb. 2009 http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/reptiles/lizard/Veiledchameleon.shtl. "Veiled Chameleon Printout- EnchantedLearning.com." ENCHANTED LEARNING HOME PAGE. 06 Feb. 2009 http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/reptiles/lizard/Veiledchameleon.shtl.

 

 Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chris_Kadet_Veiled_Chalemeon_2008.jpg