Q:

What do chameleons eat?

A:

Quick Answer

Chameleons are largely carnivorous, eating a varied diet of insects, although some larger chameleons will eat birds and lizards. Chameleons enjoy insects like crickets, grasshoppers, locusts and stick bugs. Some chameleons, specifically the veiled chameleon, also eats a small amount of plants and flowers.

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Full Answer

The chameleon depends upon its long, sticky tongue to catch prey. When a chameleon spots an insect, it quickly snaps out its tongue. When its tongue hits the insect it creates suction that allows the chameleon to pull the insect into its mouth.

Because the chameleon moves slowly, it uses its eyes to spot prey. What's unique about a chameleon's eyes is that each eye can look in a different direction at the same time. This allows a chameleon to better spot its prey, at which time it can direct the attention of both eyes onto the prey before attempting to catch it.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some types of chameleons?

    A:

    There are over 150 chameleon species in the world, ranging in size from the large Parson's and veiled chameleons to the smaller jeweled and Jackson's chameleons. While chameleons are native to the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe, approximately half of these species live in Madagascar.

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  • Q:

    Are chameleons endangered?

    A:

    According to the National Wildlife Federation, there are over 180 different species of chameleons and only a few are in immediate danger of becoming extinct. Destroying a chameleon’s natural habitat is the biggest threat to its existence.

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  • Q:

    Where do chameleons live?

    A:

    Chameleons are native to Africa and Eurasia, and most species live in trees. They live in a variety of different habitats, including grasslands, but many inhabit tropical forests. Half of all species of chameleons are from Madagascar.

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  • Q:

    What eats chameleons?

    A:

    The two main predators of chameleons are the fiscal shrike and the boomslang. The fiscal shrike is a bird that catches its prey and throws it onto plant thorns before eating it. The boomslang is a venomous tree snake that preys on the chameleon.

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