African Animals: Jackson’s Chameleon
The peculiar Jackson’s three-horned chameleon if often compared to the legendary Triceratops dinosaur. While a fully grown adult Triceratops was more than 30 feet long, the Jackson’s chameleon rarely exceed 30 centimetres! Most of the time, Jackson’s chameleons are green. As with all chameleons though, they can change colour as a result of their situation at that time. When distressed, they may turn black. Their lip is yellow, as is the base of the eye. The interior of their mouth is pink and their digits have yellowish claws at the end.
Surprisingly, the tongue may measure up to 14 centimetres and it has a club shaped end which is coated with saliva, allowing it to stick to prey and catch it. Their eyes are able to swivel between 90 – 180 degrees and they can move independently of each other! The tail of this chameleon is so strong that it can support its entire body weight.
Jackson’s chameleons are omnivors and their diet is small ants, butterflies, caterpillars, slugs, worms, lizards, and amphibians. On occasion they have been know to eat leave and berries from particular trees. Their water comes from drinking rain droplets off the leaves. Home is East Africa’s woodland and forests, especially in Kenya, Tanzania, and into the Congos.