Chameleons at Peyrieras

13th October 2015. Peyrieras Nature reserve, Marazevo, Madagascar.

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Chameleons, Madagascar, Marozevo, Nature, Peyrieras Nature reserve, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Parson’s Chameleon.

Many species of chameleon are endemic to Madagascar, which has about half of the World’s chameleon species.

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Parson’s Chameleon.

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Parson’s Chameleon.

Chameleon fingers and toes are fused in groups of two and three, to assist in gripping branches.  Most chameleons live in trees.

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Probably female Oustalet’s chameleon, also known as Malagasy giant chameleon.

Parson’s and Oustalet’s chameleons are the largest worldwide, at more than 65cm. The smallest, the recently discovered Brookesia micra, is 3cm long and can sit on top of a finger.

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Probably female Oustalet’s chameleon, also known as Malagasy giant chameleon.

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(I am unable to identify many of these chameleons).

Chameleons are mainly insectivores, catching them with their extraordinary tongue.

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Here, blending fairly well into the trunk of the tree.

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Chameleons can move their eyes independently, to look simultaneously at tow objects in very different directions.  When they detect prey, they can focus on it with both eyes for stereoscopic vision.

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Panther Chameleon.

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Panther Chameleon.

Most chameleons have prehensile tails except for a group of very small stump-tailed or leaf chameleons that live mainly in the leaf litter in the forest floor, hunting for insects and often camouflaguing themselves as leaves.

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Panther Chameleon capturing an insect.

The flash of the tongue to catch an insect happens very quickly, though you can see them winding up for it.

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Panther Chameleon.

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Panther Chameleon.

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Panther Chameleon.

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Chameleons, Madagascar, Marozevo, Nature, Peyrieras Nature reserve, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

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Most people think a chameleon can change to any colour to match their surroundings but it is not as simple as that.  They will have a range of colours and not be able to change outside that range.  Colours within the same species can also vary considerably by region.  Camouflage is just one source of colour change.  Others include mating displays, defending territory, expressing emotions including anger, and regulating body temperature.

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9 comments on “Chameleons at Peyrieras

  1. Amazing creatures and amazing shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. v4vikey says:

    Amazing photography…… 😊

    Like

  3. George says:

    Maaaate, is this the x-Pro2 + 50.140mm? Brilliant images!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These images are absolutely amazing! Such beautiful colors; wow.

    Like

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