Trivia question for Jul-05-2011

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 in Trivia

Carter thought he knew a lot about these guys but as he did his research, he found all kinds of cool new facts.  Let’s see how you do with his trivia.  These guys are usually camouflaged green, but can change color to blend in with its habitat.

The word chameleon comes from the Greek words ‘chamai leon’ meaning ‘dwarf lion’ and refers to their aggressive manner in which the animal hisses and threatens when picked up.  Skin cells contain pigments that can be changed at will, allowing them to turn pale or dark when irritated, green when relaxing or darken to absorb heat.

So here are Carter’s questions:  Tell us what type of Chameleon this is and where they can be found.  Also, tell us how you can tell the difference from a male and a female just by looking at their head, and tell us how fast their tongue shoots out and retracts (the rates are different for each instance)?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations to Dalisay from Quezon City in the Philippines for being the first with the correct answer.  The reptile we featured is the Jackson’s Chameleon.  Chamaeleo jacksonii (common names Jackson’s Chameleon or Three-horned Chameleon) is an African chameleon.

They are native to the humid, cooler regions of Kenya and Tanzania, East Africa, found in great numbers at altitudes over 3,000 m. The subspecies merumontanus can only be found on Mount Meru and the Arusha Region of Tanzania. The subspecies xantholophus was introduced to Hawaii in the 1970s and has since established populations on all main islands. This population was the primary source of Jackson’s Chameleons for the exotic pet trade.

They are sometimes called Three-horned Chameleons because males possess three brown horns: one on the nose (the rostral horn) and one above each superior orbital ridge above the eyes (preocular horns), somewhat reminiscent of the ceratopsid dinosaur genus Triceratops. The female generally have no horns, or traces of the rostral horn.

As for the speed of their tongues, they can shoot their tongues out to trap prey in five hundredths of a second, and retract it in twenty hundredths of a second.   The extended tongue is longer than the body and tail combined.  Here is more on these critters: Jackson’s Chameleon

Thanks for playing along 😉