I was visiting a popular tourist spot not far from Bangalore. I spotted a curious looking green creature on the road while walking through a disturbed forest. It was indulging in very slow deliberate movements. It was perhaps making a desperate attempt to cross the road before the next vehicle ran over. Unfortunately this creature is not known for its speed. Luckily for it, I happened to come by before any vehicle did. I held my hand in its path when it opened its pink mouth, puffed up its body and hissed loudly. I gently coaxed it to climb on to my hand. Once on my hand it quickly clambered on my clothes over my shoulder and on my head! The passers by had gathered into a small crowd while all this was happening. They were trying to tell me that this is a very poisonous creature and that I should let it go before any danger befalls me.
Having interacted with the creature earlier on, I knew what I had on my person was a harmless Chameleon. Though the chameleon is not known for its speed, it is endowed with some other amazing abilities.
The best known of them all is its ability to change colour. It is thought that the basic colour of the chameleon helps it blend into the surroundings. And, the colour changes occur based on temperature and light. Such changes in colour could be used for purposes of communication and to express its mood! The other interesting part of a chameleon is its long tongue for its prey – one with a sticky tip and almost as long as its body!
The chameleon also has two other tools for survival. Like any other reptile, it has a pair of eyes on either side of its head. Each eye is independent of the other – each eye can see in completely different directions! This helps the chameleon to keep a look out for its own predators while it is hunting its prey! This adaptation can be helpful in a variety of situations.
The chameleon has a long prehensile (capable of grasping) tail which can be used as the fifth limb. This lizard can hold on to vegetation with its tail for additional safety!
Having explained some of these interesting aspects to the audience I allowed the lizard to disappear into the shrubbery on the side of the road that it was heading towards.
Unfortunately, I did not own a camera to photograph the chameleon when all this happened. However, I was lucky much later to find one when I possessed a camera.
To see more pics of the Chameleon click here.