Chameleons have tongues two and a half times longer than their body, and they shoot them out at incredible speeds. These tongues are sticky and elastic, and with each strike, they can pack 14,00 watts of power. Read on to learn more about the tongues of chameleons.
2,590 meters per second
A small chameleon can travel at a speed of 2,590 meters per second. That’s a remarkable feat for such a small animal. This acceleration is equivalent to a car speeding from 0 to 60 mph in a hundredth of a second. Moreover, this tiny chameleon can run as fast as a car, which is rare for any other animal.
Though chameleons are not the fastest animals, their long tongues enable them to catch insects and cling to surfaces. The speed of their movement depends on the species. Some species, such as the panther chameleon, can run up to 10 kilometers per hour, while others like the Jackson’s chameleon can move only one meter per second.
21,00 watts per kilo
The chameleon can pack a punch of around 14,00 watts per kilogram with its tongue strikes, but the real question is: how can such a tiny animal manage to run at such a high rate? It’s important to remember that chameleons don’t spend most of their time running in forests. They also don’t exercise in vivariums, so their gait is very unique.
The answer is relatively simple: chameleons spend most of their time at higher levels in the tree canopy. Their bodies need different resting places, which allow them to bask in different temperatures. The chameleon also needs to be able to reach each vine. Falling can be disastrous.
Chameleons have five toes on each foot. The outer toes are grouped together, and the other three toes form the inner group. Their toes are modified to allow them to grasp tightly to tree branches. In addition to their five toes, chameleons have prehensile tails. They can even curl multiple times around a branch.
Chameleons have excellent eyesight. They can see up to 32 feet in front of them. They also have 360-degree vision, which helps them hunt their prey. This eye-sight is also helpful because chameleons can’t hear well. Because they don’t have ears, they rely on their eyesight to hunt.
The chameleon tongue is composed of complex muscles, bones, and collagenous elements. When extended, the tongue is catapulted into the air and can pull in up to half the chameleon’s body weight. The tongue is retracted back into its mouth by a muscular system that contains accelerator and retractor muscles. The tongue is located at the back of the mouth, and moves toward the front of the mouth when the chameleon moves its head.
The chameleon’s long tongue is twice as long as its body. It helps it catch prey by firing sticky tongues at insects. Their tongues are long enough to reach the fly without waking it up. Some chameleon species have tongues 70 centimeters long, and their tails are long, too. The tube-lipped nectar bat, for example, is the record holder for the longest tongue in a chameleon.
Eyes that move in separate directions
Chameleons have a unique eye structure that allows them to scan their environment with one eye while focusing on the same object with the other. This means that they can see two images at the same time, and it is this unique eye structure that allows them to have depth perception. Its body shape also helps them to be able to scan their environment without moving.
Researchers were able to test this hypothesis by studying the eye movements of chameleons. This unique feature allows chameleons to track two targets at once, each with a specific role. One eye follows its prey, and the second eye tracks its own target. The two eyes then converge in front of the first to lock on to the target.
Chameleon’s colors change with its emotions
Did you know that chameleons change their colors according to their mood? The autonomic nervous system controls these involuntary functions. As a result, when a chameleon feels threatened or agitated, it switches its color. The different color cells on its body mix together like paint to change the chameleon’s color.
When a chameleon is feeling stressed, it will turn its colors darker. When it is relaxed, it will turn its colors to green. Similarly, bright colors will make it look aggressive. In general, the female chameleon is much lighter than the male. The most colorful chameleon species are the Madagascar and Panther chameleons. These lizards are also the most territorial.