Happy Friday ladies and gentlemen and to my Canadian readers, happy long weekend!! I have probably been pushing the limits this week with longer than usual posts so I will try my best to keep this one a little shorter, since it is Friday and all!
I bet by reading the title of today’s Wild Fact (go ahead and read the title again, I will wait) you think that this fact will be on how chameleons can change colour to match their surroundings. Well, I tricked you, today’s fact is about another chameleon adaptation. For the record they change colours as a form of camouflage as well as a social indicator to other chameleons. All right, so if the changing of colour isn’t unique enough to be Wild Fact #965 then what else is so gosh darn cool about the chameleon?
It all has to do with the way the chameleon hunts. You see, chameleons eat small to mid-size insects such as locusts, mantises, crickets and grasshoppers (some of the larger chameleons may eat small birds and other lizards). Since chameleons may actually be deaf they rely very heavily on sight to hunt these little critters. Even though they are deaf they may still be able to communicate via vibrations in the ground, similar to snakes. Okay, back to the whole eye-sight thing! The upper and lower eye-lid of the chameleon are fused together which leaves a small pinhole opening for the pupil to see through. You are probably thinking that this doesn’t seem like it will help the crazy, colour changing chameleon hunt its prey. This small pinhole would allow the chameleon to focus a little easier but the real interesting part is the fact that they can focus and rotate each eye individually. Let’s put that a different way, one eye can be focused to the right while the other eye is focusing in on something to the left. This feature effectively allows them to see 360 degrees at any time. Although, when they see a scrumptious meal, they are able to focus both eyes on the target which will bring it into stereo. Just remember the next time you think you are sneaking up on a chameleon, it probably sees you!
Chameleon Fast Fact – Chameleons can see small insects from a distance of 5-10 cm away. I know this doesn’t sound like much but for a lizard, that is pretty impressive. The fact that their tongue is sometimes longer than their body length, they will have no problems catching these insects.
So much for keeping the post shorter. Oh Well!
Thanks for another great week of comments everyone! Have a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!