Panther chameleon

Furcifer pardalis

Fascinating Facts

  • Male panther chameleons have intense patterns that vary depending on the area they are from.
  • Females are usually more dull, resembling their habitat, but can communicate via color changes.
  • Chameleon eyes move independently but focus together on prey to provide stereoscopic vision with depth perception.
  • Chameleon feet are zygodactyl (like parrots) with two toes pointing forward and two pointing back, making them great climbers!
  • Their tongue can stretch to 1.5 – 2 times the length of their body!


Scrub and forest areas, both natural and disturbed. Chameleons prefer to be up in trees or shrubs off the ground, and need high humidity. They have a very long, fast tongue, which they use to catch insects. They will also eat small birds, other reptiles, and amphibians.

Status in the Wild

Least Concern – IUCN 2011


Warm lowland or coastal habitats in northern Madagascar

Location in the Zoo

Reptiles and Birds Zone in the Sculpture Learning Plaza

Animals & Exhibits