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Chameleons are very interesting creatures. They have many interesting abilities. They can change their body colour as communication / social signals or as a way to blend into their surroundings to hide from other predators. These reptiles also have very strong, long, and sticky tongs that shoot out at the speed of 20 kilometres per hour / 13 miles per hour snatching their prey in a blink of an eye. They can also run at very high speeds (34 kilometres per hour / 21 miles per hour). This will allow them to escape quickly if caught by a predator. But the feature that I found most interesting is that they also have eyes that can look & move independently. This gives them 360 degrees vision but the most important ability is tracking 2 different objects at once. This allows them to scan their surroundings while tracking an object. Their extruded eyes can focus on faraway objects or magnify on an object. Male chameleons also have horns to defend territory. Chameleons instinctively know how to hunt prey & survive on their own without their parents teaching them how to hunt. Chameleons hunt by flailing their strong, long (about 1.5 ~ 2 times their body length without the tail) & sticky tongue scooping or wrapping around their prey. These tongues travel at the speed of 20 kilometres per hour / 13 miles per hour. Even though most chameleons are omnivores (some are carnivores, some are herbivores) they usually eat insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, and some types of worms.  Chameleons usually live in Africa. They live in trees or bushes so they can easily hunt insects. Chameleons have specialised feet for grabbing on to tree branches. Unlike many other reptiles who have “flat” feet (no opposing thumbs) chameleons have 5 fingers in grouped in two groups ( good example of a chameleon’s foot). These two groups of fingers allow a chameleon to grasp on to a tree branch or other material by using one group as the thumb and the other group as fingers.  A female chameleon’s innate behaviour for laying eggs is digging a hole burring the eggs in a hole then covers them back up and leaves the eggs. This allows the eggs to absorb all the water from the soil. After they come out of the egg they will start hunting insects right away since they instinctively know how to hunt. Chameleons can change their skin colour. A lot of stuff effect on what colour or pattern the chameleon is going to change into. The known reasons are temperature, social signals, or their mood / feeling. When chameleons are hot they turn lighter reflecting more light off his body making him cooler, on the other hand when they’re hot cold they turn darker thus absorbing more light to its body getting warmer. Like I said before chameleons change colour to show their mood to others. When they are angry they might turn a darker colour and when they are happy they might turn a lighter colour. Scientist believe that they do this by manipulating specialised cells called chromatophores that contain a wide variety of pigments allowing the chameleon to choose which colour they will turn into. Chromatophore cells can be found in some species of octopi that also manipulate their surroundings to blend in. But these chromatophore cells have their limits. Recently scientists discovered that those cells can only cover warmer tones like green or blue, but can’t turn into brighter tones such as red and yellow. So the scientist found out that chameleons have a specialised layer of skin called the iridophores which contain pigments that reflect light allowing it to reflect bright tones of light hence the bright colours. Chameleon’s eyes move independently. Recent studies have shown that the chameleon’s eyes have specific jobs. One eye will track and the other eye converges. There was an experiment testing this theory. There is a chameleon in a room and in front of it is a screen with one virtual bug. Then they make 2 bugs appear on the screen and they move apart from each other. At first when there is only one bug both of the chameleon’s eyes focus on the single bug. But when 2 bugs appear on the screen the two eyes go separately and track each bug. But once the chameleon chooses the bug to eat the converging eye focuses on the chosen bug and the chameleon “eats” it.

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