by | 6 Jun 2019 | Biodiversity | 0 comments

Nearly half of the 150 chameleon species recorded in the world are in Madagascar.

There is the largest of the “Parson” chameleons which can reach 65 cm. But there are also the smaller chameleons such as “Brookesia micra”. The latter is the size of a match! It’s impressive !!!

Chameleon: change of mood, change of color

The chameleons communicate by their colors. And these colors can be changed in case of: illness, stress, courtship …

For the courtship, the animal then displays new colors to scare his rival or to seduce the female. This color change is due to the chameleon’s nano-crystal network that expands and changes the way light is received.

At rest, the color of the chameleon is green so that it can camouflage itself among the vegetation. More than half of the world’s six hundred or so chameleon species are found in Madagascar. This strange animal, which is an integral part of popular culture, is one of the assets of the biodiversity of the Big Island and undoubtedly deserves to be better known and preserved.

For information, Japanese tourists are most interested in the chameleons of Madagascar. There are even some who just come to appreciate them.

But that’s not also a reason not to come here. The chameleons fascinate us all! It is an exceptional animal, because there are chameleons or “Chamaeleonidae” which are by far the best known of Madagascar’s iguanas. It is also the most symbolized family among the iguanas.

Chameleon: Independent eyes and a tongue compared to a spring

The chameleon’s eyes can move independently of each other. This ability allows him to detect movements in the surroundings without moving or even turning his head.

 In the appreciation of the distance between him and his prey, the eyes adopt a binocular vision, that is to say that both eyes are used simultaneously. Apart from this adoption of the binocular vision to appreciate the distance, the chameleon sees two different images. This allows him to detect prey and monitor predators.

The protractile tongue of the chameleon is even more impressive than its eyes. It allows him to catch precisely the prey, at a very long distance. The end of the tongue covered with sticky mucus offers no escape. The length of the tongue varies according to the species, but it can be as long as the body of the animal.