Chameleons have always been a source of fascination for humans. Their ability to change colors at their will and their harmless nature is what excites most people. If you’re considering bringing home an Ambilobe panther chameleon, chances are you want to impress your friends and neighbors. These species of chameleons are known for their colorful body and docile personality. Here are five unique facts about these chameleons you can tell your friends to keep the conversation going.
1. They are Native of Madagascar
The panther chameleon species are thought to originate from the island of Madagascar. It was French conservationist Georges Cuvier who first discovered these chameleons in his 1829 expedition to Madagascar.
More precisely, you’ll find them in the northern and eastern sections of the island. They like the tropical rainforest climate. They were later exported to the Mauritius and Reunion Islands.
As per stats, about 2,000 panther chameleons are taken out from Madagascar and exported to other parts of the world. So the ambilobe panther chameleon sitting in your house might be from Madagascar.
2. They Change Color Rapidly
Chameleons are known to change colors. But there are a few species that change color rapidly than others, ambilobe panther chameleon being one of them.
They take less than a minute to completely transform from one tone to another, making them the fastest ones to do so. Their body is equipped with photonic crystals, which allows them to change color rapidly.
The males change color even faster than the females, which researchers claim is to court a female. In measurements, the males also tend to be bigger.
In a normal state, they have multiple hues on their body. And when they camouflage to adjust to their environment, they don a single color.
With that said, their coloration is more complicated than other chameleon species. And it varies from location to location.
3. They Have a Casque
Most chameleon species have a helmet-like protrusion on their head. And the ambilobe panther chameleon is no different.
They use this casque to collect water into their mouth. This is also a signal of good genes to potential mating partners. Female casques are much smaller than male casques.
4. They Have a Tonged Feet and Prehensile Tail
Chameleons are arboreal animals. That means they like to climb trees and shrubs wherever they grow. To aid in climbing, they have tonged feet. So the toes are fused, with two toes being outside of the foot and three being inside. This gives them a unique appearance.
You can also distinguish panther chameleons by looking at their tail. Their tail is exceedingly large and is prehensile. This means they can use it to grip trees and branches for added support.
5. Panther Chameleons See 360 degrees
You can only see what’s in front of you. But chameleons can see what’s around them. All chameleons, including the panther chameleon, have 360-degree viewing capability.
But panther chameleons have far better sight than other chameleons. Their eyes function as a gunturret, and the upper and lower eyelids are fused. There’s a pinhole that’s large enough for the animal to see through. They can focus on two different objects simultaneously and can spot movements as far as 10 meters away.
An ambilobe panther chameleon has a lifespan of about five years. And caring for them is not demanding. They eat a minimal amount of food and are tolerant. You’ll have a lot of fun owning a panther chameleon.