Dictionary > Chameleon

Chameleon

Definition
noun, plural: chameleons
A reptile of the family Chamaeleonidae that is known largely for its ability to change skin color and pattern, through the layers of pigment-containing iridophore cells that reflect light differently depending on mood, health, or temperature
Supplement
The chameleons are reptiles belonging to the family Chamaeleonidae. This taxonomic family is divided into two subfamilies: (1) Brookesiinae and (2) Chamaeleoninae. The subfamily Brooksiinae includes the small, mostly brown species endemic in central Africa and Madagascar. It is comprised of the genera Brookesia and Palleon. All the other genera are placed in the subfamily Chamaeleoninae. These genera are Archaius, Bradypodion, Calumma, Chamaeleo, Furcifer, Kinyongia, Nadzikambia, Rieppeleon, Rhampholeon, and Trioceros. There are about two hundred species belonging to this family. They are characterized mainly by their ability to change colour, long tongue, stereoscopic vision, independently mobile eyes, zygodactylous feet, and swaying gait. Many of them have a prehensile tail. These species are adept at climbing and living in warm habitats. They thrive in various habitats such as rainforests and deserts. They are endemic in Madagascar, Africa, southern Asia, and southern Europe. Some of them are kept as pets. Some of the chameleons taken as household pets include: Chamaeleo calyptratus (veiled chameleon), Trioceros jacksonii (Jackson’s chameleon), Furcifer pardalis (panther chameleon), Rieppeleon brevicaudatus (bearded pygmy chameleon), Rhampholeon spectrum (spectral pygmy chameleon), and Rhampholeon temporalis (usambara pitted pygmy chameleon).
Variant(s):

  • chamaeleon

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Suborder: Iguania
  • Clade: Acrodonta
  • Family: Chamaeleonidae Rafinesque, 1815


  • You will also like...

    Population Regulation in an Ecosystem
    Population Regulation in an Ecosystem

    With regard to the population size of a species and what factors may affect them, two factors have been defined. They ar..

    Endemic Flora of New Zealand
    New Zealand’s Unique Flora

    If New Zealand has lots of unique animals, it's also got a whole lot of unique plants. Find out more about some of them,..

    Growth and Plant Hormones
    Growth and Plant Hormones

    Plants, like animals, produce hormones to regulate plant activities, including growth. They need these hormones to respo..

    Human Reproduction
    Human Reproduction

    Humans are capable of only one mode of reproduction, i.e. sexual reproduction. Haploid sex cells (gametes) are produced ..

    Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination
    Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination

    This tutorial looks at sex determination via the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Read it to get more info on X and Y chromosom..

    Lentic community
    Freshwater Communities & Lentic Waters

    Lentic or still water communities can vary greatly in appearance -- from a small temporary puddle to a large lake. The s..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics