Chameleon is the common name for certain lizards that are well known for their ability to change colors. The chameleon changes color when it is frightened, under stress, or because of changes in light, temperature, and other environmental changes. The color change is caused by hormones that affect certain pigment-containing cells in the skin of the chameleon. Contrary to popular belief, its color doesn't always change to match its surroundings.
The chameleon has a remarkably long, sticky tongue, which is very useful in obtaining food. A chameleon's tounge darts into the air to catch insects. Its body is unusually shape and most chameleons are specially adapted to living in trees. The chameleon has long, thin legs that raise it from the ground and its toes are divided into opposable sets of two and three digits that make it easier to grasp branches instead of clinging to them with claws. The strong, curled tail is adapted to grasping. Many chameleons have large domed heads, and males may have as many as three horns which are sometimes used for combat.
The chameleon has a short neck that is of limited mobility; however, the eyes are big and can move independently of each other in many directions. The chameleon has no external tympanic membrane. Chameleons range in size from a few centimeters to 63 cm (25 in). More than 100 species of chameleons exist.
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