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Chameleon. Panther chameleon
The Panther chameleon is a medium-sized lizard from the family Chamaeleonidae. Depending on environmental conditions, it can not only change its color, but also, by adapting to it, change the shape of the body.
Panther chameleon habitat covers Madagascar and located on its northern coast, the island of Nosy Be. The reptile was also brought to the islands of Reunion and Mauritius. Most panther chameleons live in the southern and northeastern regions of Madagascar, where their density exceeds two individuals per hectare.
The animal loves to settle in well-lit forests, among thickets of shrubs, in gardens and parks. He especially likes sugar cane plantations, where all kinds of insects and their larvae, which are his main food, are found in abundance.
Sharp stereoscopic vision helps the panther chameleon to hunt, allowing it to accurately differentiate small objects in three dimensions and accurately determine the distance to them. A chameleon is capable of noticing a future victim from a distance of up to 10 m. Ultraviolet radiation also enters its visible spectrum. This gives the chameleon the opportunity to find potential prey on the tracks.
His main weapon of the panther chameleon is a very long tongue that is able to grab an insect for 0.003 seconds. This phenomenal speed is achieved due to the special structure of the transverse annular and longitudinal muscles. The first quickly throw it away, and the second retract. At the same time, the tongue as if slips off from the frontal bone.
Each panther chameleon has its own body color, obtained from birth. However, he can spontaneously change it depending on the temperature, light or just the mood.
The reptile is distinguished by its territoriality and is spent most of its life in voluntary isolation, in contact with its fellow tribesmen only during the mating season. When two males meet, they change in color and swell in order to drive the opponent away from the occupied territory. It usually rarely comes to a fight. The frightened side becomes gray and dark, wisely leaving other people's possessions.
Panther chameleons reach sexual maturity at 9 months. The males at this point are particularly smart to make a favorable impression on the fair sex. In their monochromatic color new bright colors appear. After mating, females often become as colorful.
Pregnancy lasts from 30 to 45 days. The female lays 10-40 leathery eggs in a secluded place on wet soil in a small hole.
Incubation lasts about 7 months and its duration is highly dependent on the ambient temperature. Under adverse conditions, it can stretch up to 320 days. Hatched babies have a nondescript camouflage coloring, which gradually changes to an adult.
Representatives of this species are well tolerated in captivity. For one animal, it is desirable to have a spacious terrarium of at least 70 x 70 x 150 cm. Inside it is desirable to plant plants on which it will climb, for example, Benjamin's pipal or some lianas.
The terrarium should be well ventilated and illuminated, so it can be located near the windows, but avoid strong drafts.
Duration of daylight is set within 12-14 hours. The lack of sunlight is compensated by the use of ultraviolet lamps.
The optimum temperature during the day is 25-28 ° С, and at night about 21 ° С. The lizard loves heat, so you can locally heat its home and up to 40 ° C. The terrarium must often be sprayed from the inside with warm water in order to maintain a humidity of at least 60%.
The substrate is better to use light and porous with adsorbing capabilities. A perfect mix of river sand and peat. It can be laid out up to 25 cm thick on a layer of gravel used as drainage.
Feeding trough is located on a branch or placed directly on the ground.
Feed the pet pet grasshoppers, cockroaches, moths, flies and meal worms. In addition to food of animal origin, he will gradually bite off the leaves of plants growing in the terrarium. It is also necessary to give him vitamin and mineral supplements.
Males grow to a length of 51 cm, and females no more than 43 cm. Usually they are about two times smaller than males and have a paler color. Primary color varies by habitat.
Reptiles living in the northern regions of Madagascar, mostly painted in different shades of blue. Their southern brethren are more often red, orange or green.
In females, pink, peach or light orange background prevails.
On the back of the males there are characteristic processes in the form of ridges. Toes are adapted for climbing tree branches and armed with sharp claws.
Each eye can rotate in any direction independently of the other, providing a 360 ° view.
The life span of a panther chameleon is about 4 years.
What is a Chameleon- a family of lizards, adapted to the woody way of life, able to change the color of the body.
Most species of chameleons have a body length of 30 cm, the largest ones reach 50–60 cm, the smallest - 3-5 cm.
The head is helical, with a markedly elevated occipital region. Often decorated with more or less convex crests, knolls or elongated, pointed horns. In most cases, all of these formations are developed in males, while females wear rudimentary forms.
The legs are long, peculiarly adapted to the lasagna. The fingers coalesce into two opposing groups of 2 and 3 and have the appearance of "claws" that can tightly embrace the branches of the tree. The tail is thick at the base, gradually tapers towards the end, it can involute downward and twist around the branches. Most of the family members have this ability with the exception of a relatively small number of species with a short tail. Chameleons have unusual organs of vision. Eyelids of animals accrete, constantly covering the eye, but having a hole for the pupil. The movements of the left and right eyes may be inconsistent, which is important when catching insects, but before attacking the chameleon turns both eyes to prey. Chameleons have a circular view.
During a hunt, chameleons, as a rule, sit for a long time on the branches of trees. The body of the animal at the same time remains motionless, and the eyes are constantly moving (but sometimes chameleons slowly sneak up on prey). Insects are caught with the tongue with a sucker sucker at the end, the ejection process of which lasts about 1/20 of a second, and with the return to the initial position - no more than half a second. For three seconds, the chameleon can recognize and catch up to four insects. In the "non-working" position the tongue is held by a special bone in the lower jaw. Sometimes the prey is too heavy to hold the tongue; In subsequent times, the chameleon has enough prey of this size by mouth.
Widely known is the ability of all chameleons to change the color and pattern of the body. The change in color is due to the structural features of the skin. In the outer fibrous and deeper skin layer there are special branched cells - chromatophores containing grains of various pigments of black, dark brown, reddish and yellow colors. With the reduction of the processes of chromatophores grains of pigments are redistributed, and their greatest concentration falls on the center of the cells, while the skin of the lizard itself becomes whitish or yellow. When concentrating the dark pigment in the fibrous layer of the skin, it, respectively, becomes dark. The combination of pigments of both layers leads to the appearance of different color shades. Green colors appear additionally as a result of the refraction of light rays in the surface layer of the skin containing guanine crystals.
As a result of such features, the color of chameleons can quickly change from light - whitish and orange, through yellow and green to purple, and then - completely black or dark brown. These color changes can occur both on the entire body of the animal, and on its individual sections, accompanied by the appearance and disappearance of various kinds of stripes and spots.
These changes in body color of chameleons occur under the action of both external stimuli - temperature, light and humidity, and as a result of hunger, thirst, fright, irritation. The color variations available to the chameleon depend on the preferred habitat characteristic of the species. Chameleons are diurnal, as in a dream they lose control of their skin color, turn pale and become visible to predators.
Often color changes can be combined with a demonstration of a threat aimed at scaring the enemy. Rapid discoloration is also observed in males during the breeding season.
Traditionally, chameleons were thought to change the color of the body for mimicry to the surrounding vegetation. Exploring the colorful mountain ha.
Chameleons attract us, first of all, with their bright colors, which easily change under the environment, with their funny tail, curled into a spiral, a curious way of movement, and also masterly possession of a long tongue, thanks to which the pet is always full.
Taking an exotic pet into your family, it is necessary to create natural habitat conditions for the animal that will be as close as possible to natural ones. For this purpose, fit a large vertical terrarium of 200 liters.
You will also need a heater that will keep the temperature in the terrarium at least 28-30 degrees, and a humidifier. Humidity in the dwelling of the chameleon should be about 70%.
The little chameleon pet needs ultraviolet radiation to feel good. Get a UV lamp.
To the room chameleon was well ventilated, it is necessary to tighten one wall with a metal grid.
Well, in the terrarium should be placed an artificial pond or fountain, live plants, strengthen the branches. A chameleon should feel most comfortable in captivity.
The most popular chameleons for home conditions today are:
• Leopard chameleon
• Chameleon ordinary
• Yemeni chameleon
The largest individuals of these species can reach 50-55 cm, medium - 25-30 cm, and finally, chameleons can be quite tiny up to 5 cm in length. Male chameleons, as usual, are brighter and larger, their “horns” are more pronounced than on females.
How to feed a chameleon at home? This is one of the important issues that the future owners of the exotic pet have to solve.
The chameleon menu may include:
• Flour worms
• Small mammals
• Animal busses
• Little lizards
But, in spite of the habits of a predator, the pet is happy to feast on pieces of fruit: citrus fruits, bananas, apples, grapes.
Water regime needs special attention. The fact is that, unlike many other animals, chameleons do not know how to drink and varnish from the trough and bowls. In nature, these animals drink water droplets, which are collected on the leaves of plants and drain from the leaves. So that your pet is not thirsty, spray the terrarium plants more often with water.
Like any other animal, the chameleon should live clean and tidy. That cleanliness is the key to health and good mood of your pet. Once every two weeks, you do a general cleaning in the terrarium, and you do not need to drop your pet, let it get used to your hands.
Remember that chameleons are nervous animals, do not provoke pet excitement. Remember, any stress harms your pet.
As often as possible, put your hands in the terrarium. Chameleon needs to get used to your smell, understand and accept that your hands are not dangerous and will not harm him.
The terrarium is intended only for one individual. If you give a neighbor a chameleon, it can negatively affect one of the animals. If you are taking a chameleon into a family for the first time, choose a male.
Of course, chameleons, very interesting animals, each with its own characteristics, character and habits. But having made friends, you will understand how tender and tender this exotic pet can be. The most important thing is to give him the necessary attention, to show care and respect. You can buy everything you need to keep a chameleon in a house at any pet store.