Chameleons (family Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their zygodactylous feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extrudable tongues, their swaying gait, the possession by many of a prehensile tail, crests or horns on their distinctively shaped heads, and the ability of some to change color. Colors include pink, blue, red, orange, turquoise, yellow, and green. Uniquely adapted for climbing and visual hunting, the approximately 160 species of chameleon range from Africa, Madagascar, southern Europe, across south Asia, to Sri Lanka, have been introduced to Hawaii, California, and Florida, and are found in warm habitats that vary from rain forest to desert conditions. Chameleons are often kept as household pets.
Famous quotes containing the word chameleon:
“... ideals, standards, aspirations,those are chameleon words, and take color from their speakers,often false tints. A scholarly man of my acquaintance once told me that he traveled a thousand miles into the desert to get away from the word uplift, and it was the first word he heard after he reached his destination.”
—Carolyn Wells (18621942)