PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )

Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )

Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)

Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )

Super class :-  TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin)

Class :- REPTILIA ( Scaly vertebrates with right and left aortic arches. Single condyle, pulmonary respiration. Embryo with amnion and allantois ).

Sub-class :- DIAPSIDA ( Skull with two temporal openings separated by postorbital and squamosal ).

Order :- SQUAMATA ( Lizards and snakes with horny epidermal scales or shields. Quadrate bone movable. Vertebrae procoelous. Anal opening transverse).

Sub-order :- SAURIA ( Lizards. Body slender, limbs 4. Pterygoid in contact with quadrate. Eyelids
movable ).

Family :- CHAMAELEONIDAE ( Changes colour. Tail prehensile ).

Genus :-   Chamaeleon


Chamaeleon has world-wide distribution. It is found in Africa, Madagascar, Southern Arabia, Spain, Europe, Asia, Syria, India and Sri Lanka.


It is arboreal and feeds on insects. They live in warm habitats that range from rain forest to desert condition.



  • Chamaeleon is the most favourite diapsidan lizard having compressed body covered with scales and divided into head, neck, trunk and tail.
  • Trunk region occupying most part of the body is slightly bent and contains row of spines or crest along mid-dorsal line.
  • Head has wide mouth, large eyes, small nostrils and backwardly directed hood or helmet formed by squamosal and occipital bones. Skull and atlas joined by a proatlas.
  • Eyes large covered with a thick glandular lid pierced by a small central opening for pupil. Eyes adapted for binocular vision; they work independently while catching insects.
  • Tip of tongue club-shaped and mucus-coated. Tongue projectile and can be shot several inches beyond head to catch insect or prey.
  • Acrodont teeth are found on maxillaries and mandible. Premaxillaries and palate without teeth.
  • Both forelimbs and hind limbs well developed. The claws are syndactylus in which digits are found in groups. The toes are opposed (2 versus 3) for grasping branches of trees.
  • Tail prehensile and meant for coiling round branches of trees. Cloaca is ventrally situated.
  • Lungs end in several diverticula or air sacs ending in body. Tympanum and tympanic cavity absent.
  • Quadrate immovable and vertebrae procoelous. Jacobson’s organs and sensory part of nose absent.

Special features

Chamaeleons are famous for changing their colour of the skin according to the surrounding.


This reptile contains hood, syndactyl limbs, prehensile tail and all above features, hence it is Chamaeleon.



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