A pet chameleon is another type of exotic pet that is very popular to own. Chameleons belong to the lizard family. Chameleon has been derived from the Greek words chamai and leon meaning earth lion. The structure and size of chameleons varies a lot. They can be from one inch to thirty-one inches long.
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Owning a Pet Chameleon
Chameleons are kept as exotic pets because of their characteristic color changing capability. They change colors so as to camouflage, communicate with each other and to regulate their temperature. They also have a very long tongue to catch prey with.
If you are thinking about getting a pet chameleon you should note that they do not have the ability to change color at birth. They are either brown or grey when they are born.
They start by changing to one or two colors and when they reach five months, they gain total control of their color changing ability. And are then able to change to many colors like green, black, turquoise and blue green.
Various Colors Show Emotions
If you own a pet chameleon you should be aware that various colors express emotions. Such as stress, sense of temperature change, excitement and to communicate with other chameleons.
Brighter colors exhibit a good mood; darker colors such as black, grey and brown depict stress. A few other colors are also seen when the chameleon transitions from one color to another.
They have a very long tongue, which they use to catch flying prey. Chameleons have the ability to stretch their tongue up to one and half times the length of their bodies.
This way they can catch flying prey as well as prey that are farther off. Those who own a pet chameleon find this ability very cool.
They have three toes with two of them facing to one side and the third in the other direction. This particular structure helps them to get a firm grip, which facilitates their tree climbing habit.
They Live mostly in Treetops
They spend most of their lives in treetops. Some of them are also gifted with prehensile tails, which are used to enhance their grip while climbing.
Another amazing fact about chameleons is that they can rotate their eyes in two different directions. Both eyes are independent of each other. The structure of their eyes is globular which they use to rotate and get a wider radial view.
Their eyes are used to watch out for enemies as well as hunt for food. Along with insects and slugs they also eat plants.
People find a Pet Chameleon Fascinating
Chameleons are kept as pets because many people find them very fascinating. But a pet chameleon is very difficult to maintain and new pet owners should not start out with them.
Although a pet chameleon is not the toughest to care for of all the exotic pets, they are also not the easiest to handle. Their requirements are very comprehensive and some owners simply get tired of them after a certain amount of time.
But if an owner has made up their mind and are committed, they can certainly go for a pet chameleon, which has been brought up in captivity and is trained.
Wild Chameleons are more Dangerous
A pet chameleon that comes directly from the wild is more dangerous. They have the possibility of being infected and it is very difficult for them to adjust to a new environment. They will also be more stressed out, which will be a big hindrance in training.
Also when wild chameleons are caught and shipped to a destination, there is the possibility of them dying on the way in transit.
When selecting a pet chameleon, the health of the animal can be determined by close observation. The chameleon should be able to change colors and also be active.
A perspective pet chameleon should be brightly colored and their skin should be smooth and not scaly. Males are easier to maintain because their nutritional requirements are less than the females.
Certain Species are kept as a Pet Chameleon
The species that are kept as pets are Panther Chameleons, Veiled Chameleons and Jackson’s Chameleons. Chameleons are basically solitary animals and their camouflaging ability explains it very well.
They simply don’t like to be handled. A pet chameleon shouldn’t be kept with other pets and it is a really bad idea to keep two male chameleons together. As they will fight and injure each other. They should be put in a cage with lots of foliage, which can cater to their need of climbing trees as well as give them their desired privacy.
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