Lacerta Chamaeleon from Musei Leveriani explicatio, anglica et latina.
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Image ID: SIL-SIL33-09-01_crop
Original Caption: Lacerta Chamaeleon. The Chameleon.
The Lacerta Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) or the Mediterranean Chameleon is a long established reptile found native in the Middle East and along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. It was later introduced to the Iberian Peninsula as well. The Lacerta Chameleon has several special adaptations that help it to survive. Known for climbing trees and bushes, this chameleon has a prehensile tail, a powerful tool which helps the chameleon finds its balance on swaying branches. If you’re on the lookout for this creature though, you may not be able to spot its prehensile tail or even the chameleon itself! This is because the Lacerta Chameleon can change color and camouflage itself against its surroundings. Scientists now believe these reptiles also change color to regulate their body temperature and even to communicate with other chameleons. Their prominent eyes also come in handy. They’re extremely sharp and can swivel independently, allowing the chameleon to see two images at once! However, when the chameleon spots an insect that looks tasty, it can swivel both eyes forward to better focus on its prey by seeing only one image at once. Using its long tongue that can extend up to three times its body length, the chameleon can then snatch up its meal. Yet, while insects may be its favorite snack, chameleons have also been known to eat plants and, sometimes, other chameleons!