Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Reptiles & amphibians

African Chameleon (Chamaeleo africanus)

Description

The Chamaeleo africanus average size goes from 34 to 46 cm., including the tail. The head is quite large, with a bony crest on top and lateral bulbous eyes. It is usually bright green, with many black and yellow spots across the body. The two genders can be identified due to the bony protuberances on the males’ back.

Habitat

The African chameleon is native to the Sahel, a region in Africa that crosses the continent, from Senegal to Eritrea. It also lives in Egypt, from which it has been introduced to the Greek islands. This species is used to live in dry environments, and it can be mostly found on thin and lower branches of trees, mainly shrubs.

Diet

The African chameleon follows a diet that consists only in the consumption of meat, usually insects, small lizards, and very little birds. It catches its preys by sticking out extremely fast its sticky tongue.

Protection Status

This species is listed as “Least Concern” by IUCN Red List.

Interesting Fact

This animal is incredibly slow; it grasps the branch with two toes per side and the tail, and it stays motionless. As a chameleon, it is able to change colour; in fact, when it’s stressed or under pressure, it tends to become dark brown/grey.

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