Chameleons of Madagascar —
Chameleons are small to mid-size reptiles that are famous for their ability to dramatically change colors (how?). Contrary to popular belief, a chameleon typically does not change colors to match its surroundings. Instead, color is usually used to convey emotions, defend territories, and communicate with mates.
Other easily noted characteristics of chameleons include bulging eyes that move independently of one another, feet fixed in a grasping position, and the existence of horns or crests on the heads of many species. Additionally, arboreal species have prehensile tails used for grasping objects when climbing and moving. Finally, some species have long extensile tongues for catching insects or small vertebrates at a distance sometimes greater than the length of the chameleon.
Chameleons are diurnal, solitary, and often aggressive towards members of their own species (marked by rapid color change and aggressive posturing). They are opportunistic hunters that wait for prey to pass within range of their long tongues. Chameleons have a bizarre way of moving in which they slowly rock back and forth between each step taken, often in time with the movement of nearby leaves being blown by the wind. Most chameleons lay eggs.
List of selected chameleons in Madagascar:
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