Scientific classification: Chameleons constitute the subfamily Chamaeloninae of the family Chamaelonidae. chameleon changing color Jackson’s chameleon is classified as Chamaeleo jacksoni.
The Chameleon is the common name for certain lizards that are well known for their ability to change colors. The chameleon changes color when it is frightened and in response to light, temperature, and other environmental changes. The color change is caused by hormones that affect special pigment-bearing cells in the skin. Its color does not always change to match its surroundings, chameleon changing color however, as is commonly believed.
The chameleon has a remarkably long, sticky tongue, which darts into the air to catch insects. Its body is unusually shaped, and most chameleons are specially adapted to living in trees. The lizard’s long, thin legs raise it from the ground, and its toes are divided into opposable sets of two and three digits that enable it to grasp branches rather than cling to them as with claws. The strong, curled tail is also adapted to grasping. Many chameleons have large domed, or casqued, heads, and males may have as many as three horns, sometimes used for combat. One striking three-horned species is Jackson’s chameleon of Africa. The chameleon has a short neck that is of limited mobility; however, chameleon changing color, the eyes are big and can move independently of each other in many directions. The chameleon has no external eardrum, or tympanic membrane. Chameleons range in size from just a few centimeters to as large as 63 cm (25 in).
Mating occurs between May and August, with the eggs laid in September. During this period, males fight over females and territory by grappling with one another upon their hind legs, with the loser eventually being pinned to the ground. These males may vomit or defecate when preparing for the fight. The winner of the fight will then flick his long tongue at the female to gain information about her receptivity. Females are antagonistic and resist with their claws and teeth during the early phases of courtship. Therefore, the male must fully restrain the female during coitus to avoid being hurt. chameleon changing color Other courtship displays include males rubbing their chins on the female, hard scratches to the back, and licking. Copulation occurs when the male inserts one of his hemipenes into the female’s cloaca. Komodo dragons may be monogamous and form “pair bonds”, a rare behavior for lizards.
As with other Varanids, Komodo dragons have only a single ear bone, the stapes, for transferring vibrations from thetympanic membrane to the cochlea. This arrangement means they are likely restricted to sounds in the 400 to 2,000 hertzrange, compared to humans who hear between 20 and 20,000 hertz. It was formerly thought to be deaf when a study reported no agitation in wild Komodo dragons in response to whispers, raised voices, chameleon changing color or shouts. This was disputed whenLondon Zoological Garden employee Joan Proctor trained a captive specimen to come out to feed at the sound of her voice, even when she could not be seen.