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Chameleons (IMAGES)

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info-pictogram1 Chameleons (family Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. The approximately 160 species of chameleon come in a range of colors, and many species have the ability to change colors. Chameleons are distinguished by their zygodactylous feet; their separately mobile, stereoscopic eyes; their very long, highly modified, rapidly extrudable tongues; their swaying gait; and crests or horns on their distinctively shaped heads. Many species also have a prehensile tail. Well adapted for climbing and visual hunting, they are found in warm habitats that vary from rain forest to desert conditions—in Africa, Madagascar, and southern Europe, and across south Asia as far as Sri Lanka. They have also been introduced to Hawaii, California, and Florida.

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