Namaqua chameleon

The Namaqua chameleon is a ground living lizard found in the western desert regions of Namibia, South Africa and southern Angola

The chameleon has evolved several adaptations to cope with desert conditions; they excrete salt from nasal glands to conserve water, and dig holes to aid in thermoregulation (the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries, even when the surrounding temperature is very different).

They also use their ability to change colour to aid in controlling temperature, becoming black in the cooler morning to absorb heat more efficiently, then a lighter grey colour to reflect light during the heat of the day – or showing both colours at the same time, neatly separated left from right by the spine.

It is one of the largest chameleon species in southern Africa, and reaches up to 25 inches (63.5 cm) in length. Its tail is far shorter than its body. This is an adaptation to its primarily terrestrial habitat.


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