Chameleons are curious reptiles that are related to iguanas. Both species belong to the order Squamata. In general, they are creatures that possess amazing qualities such as their ability to change color. But it is also a somewhat difficult animal to keep in captivity.
In this article we tell you about the different species of chameleons that you can have as pets. You can also find some recommendations for the care of these animals in captivity and curiosities of the species.
While there are many different chameleons around the world, the most common and usually best adapted to life in captivity are the following:
- Veiled or helmeted chameleon. Its scientific name is Chamaleo calyptratus. It can measure up to sixty centimeters, requiring an enclosure proportional to its size. They are named for the helmet-shaped appendage that males of the species have around their heads.
- Jackson Chameleon. This type of chameleon is smaller and is characterized because the males have three horns on their heads, as if they were triceratops. They are less resistant than the previous ones. Its scientific name is Chamaleo jacksonii
- Panther or leopard chameleon. They are usually quite large. In addition, males are larger than females. They have colors that make them very eye-catching. They have the scientific name of Furcifer pardalis
Chameleons are creatures that can fall under stress very easily. They also do not usually like to be touched or handled. Occasionally they may bite. It is not a recommended pet for people who have never had contact with reptiles.
If you have decided to adopt a chameleon as a pet, always choose one that comes from a breeder. This is because if you were to get one that has been trapped in the wild, it is highly unlikely that it would be able to adapt to living in captivity. In addition, they will also have a higher parasitic load.
You will be able to tell that the chameleon is in good health if it is an active and alert animal. It should also be able to change color and should look somewhat fleshy.
Another recommendation is that you can start with a male, as they have simpler nutritional requirements and have greater resistance.
They are territorial and solitary animals, so it is also advisable to have one alone. You should never put two males together, as they can become very aggressive towards each other.
These animals generally feed on insects. However, some larger species may eat small reptiles, rodents and birds. In captivity, it is necessary to provide them with a varied and balanced diet.
In pet stores you can find the right food for them and you can also add live insects.
Another important detail is that their habitat must have a temperature between 23 and 38 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 90%. Temperatures will vary depending on the species of chameleon, but they should always have logs to climb and hide on, as well as abundant foliage.
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