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Chameleons

Chameleons (family Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their zygodactylous feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extrudable tongues, their swaying gait, the possession by many of a prehensile tail, crests or horns on their distinctively shaped heads, and the ability of some to change color. Colors include pink, blue, red, orange, turquoise, yellow, and green. Uniquely adapted for climbing and visual hunting, the approximately 160 species of chameleon range from Africa, Madagascar, Spain and Portugal, across south Asia, to Sri Lanka, have been introduced to Hawaii, California and Florida, and are found in warm habitats that vary from rain forest to desert conditions.

Chameleons are a specialized group of lizards distinguished by their zygodactylous feet, separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, long, highly modified, and rapidly extrudable tongues. Many possess prehensile tails, crests or horns on their heads, and the ability to change color. Approximately 160 species of chameleon range from Africa, Madagascar, Spain and Portugal, across south Asia, to Sri Lanka. Chameleons generally eat locusts, mantis, crickets, grasshopper and other insects, though a few species, such as Jackson's Chameleon (C. jacksonii) and the Veiled Chameleon (C. calyptratus) will consume small amounts of plant matter.

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