Sambava Panther Chameleon

Latin Name Furcifer pardalis
Class Reptilia
Family Chamaeleonidae
Habitat Tropical Forests
IUCN Status Least Concern
Distribution Eastern and Northern Madagascar

General Information

Contrary to popular belief, chameleons don’t change their coloration to match their surroundings. They are actually born with a natural colour range, depending on the species, and the colour of the chameleon is affected by temperature, mood and light. Panther chameleons also have “prehensile tails"- this means they have a tail that acts as a fifth limb, which they can use to hang from branches quite safely.

This species of chameleon is endemic to eastern and northern tropical forests of Madagascar, with this particular coloration only found in Sambava, north Madagascar.  Panther chameleons feed on small insects in the rainforest and have excellent vision to find their prey. Their conical eyes can actually move independently of one another, swivelling around like gun-turrets, so they can see almost 360 degrees! Once they have spotted their prey, they will use their very long, flexible and sticky tongue to catch it.

Fun Fact!

Their tongue moves so fast that if it were a car, it could accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 1/100th of a second!