You gave Chamelia some attentionYou gave this pet attention today!
Name: ChameliaBirthday: 03-01-2012
Type: Veiled Chameleon
A true Old World chameleon - as opposed to the New World anoles commonly known and sold under that name - the Veiled is one of the most popular and successfully-kept pet lizards. Readily propagated in captivity (they are able to reproduce at four to five months, when they have reached a body size of 8 to 12 inches, roughly half their full adult size), breeding may occur up to three times a year, and females change colors within 18 hours of a successful mating - talk about convenient for the breeder! Egg laying occurs between 20 and 30 days after mating, with clutch sizes ranging from 35 to 85 eggs. The white, oval, tough-skinned eggs are buried in warm sand in their natural habitat. Veiled chameleons are native to Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia, and reside in an amazing variety of different habitats. They can be found in the dry plateaus, mountains, and river valleys, and are arboreal - preferring to live in trees, bushes, or shrubs. They prefer temperatures of 75 to 95F (24 to 35C) and can be found in elevations up to 3,000 feet (914 m).
Veiled chameleons are brightly colored, with a casque (a helmet-like ridge on top of their heads) which is only a tiny swelling in a hatchling, but grows to two inches (5 cm) in height as the animal matures - considerably larger in the male, who is also substantially bigger and slimmer at maturity. As hatchlings, they are usually a pastel green, but as they develop they acquire bold bands of bright gold, green, and blue, mixed with yellow, orange, or black, that circle their body. The males are usually more strikingly colored than the females, who are usually green mottled with shades of tan, orange, white, and sometimes yellow.
Old-World chameleons are specialized tree-living lizards that feed almost exclusively on insects. Their bodies are flattened from side to side, and more or less leaf-shaped. They remain still and concealed for long periods of time and wait for their prey to come near. When they move, they do so slowly, and rock their bodies from side to side like a leaf in the wind. Their eyes move independently, and can look in two directions at once, as well as swivel nearly 180 degrees. They are therefore able to look in any direction, and even follow moving objects, without turning their heads or shifting body position. When a prey animal is spotted, both eyes will focus on the insect in order to perceive depth, and their famous long, sticky tongue flicks out to capture dinner.
While chameleons are famous for their ability to change color, the changes are not just for camouflage. Veiled Chameleons are highly aggressive and solitary animals, and very territorial...even males and females only associate during breeding. Although chameleons at rest tend to assume colors similar to their surroundings, color change is most often used to signify emotional state. Many chameleons are green or brown at rest, but can become far more brightly colored when frightened, courting, or defending a territory against another chameleon. Veiled chameleons, when startled or threatened, may darken in color and "play possum".
Not presently listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Veiled Chameleon is the most common species of its genus in the pet trade. Their popularity is due to a number of factors - Veiled Chameleons are relatively hardy, large, beautiful, and prolific, and because they are found in a variety of habitats naturally, the species is tolerant of temperature and humidity extremes, which contributes to their hardiness in captivity. However, wild chameleons are frquently captured and sold for rituals and souvenirs. (For example, some believe that throwing a live chameleon into a fire will bring good luck.) The growing demand by tourists for chameleon "souvenirs" puts pressure on chameleon populations. Like those of many other animals, wild chameleon populations are experiencing pressures from commercial exploitation and extensive habitat loss. Wild chameleons are particularly sensitive to the problems associated with habitat loss because many chameleon populations have evolved in small, often isolated pockets and are unable to relocate.
Owner: Nimura Tooru