Monday, March 14, 2011

Jackson's Chameleon

Male Jackson's Chameleon
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Squamata
Family : Chamaeleonidae
Genus : Chamaeleo
Species : C. jacksonii

Length : 12in (30cm)

IUCN Status : Not Listed

Jackson's Chameleons are native to Kenya and Tanzania where they spend their time up in trees. There are three subspecies, with C. j. jacksonii being the most common.

Three-Horned Chameleon is another name for this species, and it refers to the three large horns that are found on the males. These Chameleons are normally a green color, but can change depending on where they are and their stress level.

Female Jackson's Chameleon
Color change takes a large part in Chameleon reproduction. A male will approach a female, making bobbing movements and changing color. If the female does not want to mate, she turns very dark, which means she feel threatened. If she does want to mate, the color remains green. Females give birth by dropping their young onto the ground, which coaxes them out of their thin egg sacs. The young Chameleons are on their own after that.

Jackson's Chameleons feed off of insects and other invertebrates. Their eyes can move independently from one another, and they use them to sit quietly and spot for prey. When a potential meal is found, the Chameleons traps it by propelling its long, sticky tongue.

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