Tiny chameleons hatch at Taronga Zoo

Twenty tiny veiled chameleons have been born at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. While they may be small enough to sit on a fingertip or a pencil they are making a big impression.

The last of three clutches of eggs laid at the zoo hatched this week. They are the first hatchlings born at the zoo in five years. Currently they are 5cm long.

A special temperature controlled area is providing home for the young chameleons behind the scenes of the Reptile World Display. The chameleons have already begun to eat crickets and are a bright green colour.

Veiled chameleons come from Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It will take a year before the chameleons can use their full colour changing abilities.


Michael McFadden, the reptile supervisor said, “You’ll see shades of green, yellow, aqua and even very dark brown or black depending on their temperature, mood and reproductive behaviour. However, they don’t change colour to match a particular background like you see in cartoons.”

Veiled chameleons are amazing creatures built for a life in the trees. Their eyes are able to look in two directions at the same time as McFadden explained, “They can literally look forwards and backwards at the same time, which enables them to be on the watch for predators and food at all times.”

They also have the ability to make their tongue stretch 1.5 times their body length.

Visitors visiting Taronga will get to see four of these chameleons on display once they are mature. At 2-3 months of age the rest of the chameleons will move to other Australian zoos and wildlife parks.

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo/ Lorinda Taylor

By Cale Russell

TheAnimalFacts.com is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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