Panther chameleon

Furcifer pardalis

A colorful panther chameleon sits on a branch and looks towards the camera. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Chameleons (Chamaeleonidae)
  • Habitat
    Coastal trees, hedges and forest edges

Catapult-like tongue

The chameleon has a unique adaptation for catching its favourite food: a catapult-like tongue, which is used to snare caterpillars, grasshoppers and small mammals. The tongue rests on the hyoid bone at the back of the mouth. When a prey is spotted, the bone shoots forward, firing the tongue at incredible speed towards its target – within a tenth of a second. The muscles on the tip of the tongue form a
suction cap and ensure the prey cannot escape.

Mood colours

The body colour of the chameleon can change within minutes in response to light intensity, emotional stress, wellbeing, etc. The chameleon has various skin layers with different coloured pigment cells. These cells adapt their form in response to the environment and reflect light differently, creating a striking colour pattern.

The chameleon can move its eyes independently of each other, which gives it a 342° vision.