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Panther Chameleon

Furcifer pardalis

Looking at You

Chameleons have some of the most specialized eyes in the animal kingdom. The eyes move independently of each other, allowing the chameleon the ability to detect predators and spot prey more easily with their almost 360-degree vision. Additionally, chameleons can see in either monocular or binocular vision: they can see out of each eye individually or with both eyes together. Their scaly eyelid is shaped like a cone with just a small opening for the pupil.

About the Species

These insectivores walk through the branches with their zygodactyl feet.

Panther chameleons have a pincer-like grip, with two sets of fused toes on both front and back feet. Once they locate their prey, both eyes focus and their long, sticky tongue lashes out so fast it creates suction on the insect. Panther chameleons are solitary creatures that establish territories using colorful displays and gaping mouths with hissing. They are adaptable and prefer more open areas of a forest for basking and visual communication. With colors ranging from blue-green or pink to red and orange, these are the most colorful of the chameleons. Panther chameleon males have a brilliant bright range of colors. However, the females, such as the one at the Zoo, are far more subdued in coloration.

Words From the Experts


Chameleons not only change color to camouflage, but will also change color depending on their mood.



Did You Know?

Panther chameleons can move their eyes independently, allowing for an extremely heightened sense of vision.


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Lowland forests

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13–23 cm long

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Birds and snakes

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Natural Defenses

Colorful defensive displays

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10–16 eggs per clutch

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Least Concern

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Life Expectancy

5–7 years

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