Panther chameleon

Furcifer pardalis

The Panther Chameleon is a species of chameleon. It lives in the eastern and northern parts of Madagascar in a tropical forest biome. Additionally, it has been introduced to Réunion and Mauritius.
Mug shot of Panther Chameleon near Marojejy, Madagascar Showcasing the independence in the two eyes.  Africa,Furcifer pardalis,Geotagged,Madagascar,Madagascar North,Marojejy,Panther chameleon,Spring,World

Behavior

Panther chameleons are didactyl: on each foot the five toes are fused into a group of two and a group of three, giving the foot a tongs-like appearance. These specialized feet allow the Panther chameleon a tight grip on narrow branches. Each toe is equipped with a sharp claw to gain traction on surfaces such as bark when climbing. The claws make it easy to see how many toes are fused into each part of the foot — two toes on the outside of each front foot and three on the inside.

Their eyes are the most distinctive among the reptiles and function like a gun turret. The upper and lower eyelids are joined, with only a pinhole large enough for the pupil to see through. They can rotate and focus separately to observe two different objects simultaneously, this lets their eyes move independently from each other. It in effect gives them a full 360-degree arc of vision around their body. When prey is located, both eyes can be focused in the same direction, giving sharp stereoscopic vision and depth perception. They have keen eyesight for reptiles, letting them see small insects from a long distance.

The Panther chameleon lacks a vomeronasal organ. Like snakes, they do not have an outer or a middle ear.

Panther chameleons have very long tongues which they are capable of rapidly extending out of the mouth. The tongue extends at around 26 body lengths per second. The tongue hits the prey in about 30 thousandths of a second. The tongue of the chameleon is a complex arrangement of bone, muscle and sinew. At the base of the tongue there is a bone and this is shot forward giving the tongue the initial momentum it needs to reach the prey quickly. At the tip of this elastic tongue there is a muscular, club-like structure covered in thick mucus that forms a suction cup. Once the tip sticks to a prey item, it is drawn quickly back into the mouth, where the Panther chameleon's strong jaws crush it and it is consumed. Ultraviolet light is part of the visible spectrum for chameleons.It is a common misconception that chameleons of any kind can change colour to match any colour they are up against. All chameleons have a natural colour range with which they are born and is dictated by their species. Colour change is, for the most part, subconscious. It is affected by temperature, mood, and light. If, for example, the colour purple is not within the range of colours their particular species can change, then they will never turn purple.


Like most species of chameleons, the Panther Chameleon is very territorial. They spend the majority of their life in isolation, apart from mating sessions. When two males come into contact, they will change color and inflate their bodies, attempting to assert their dominance. Often these battles end at this stage, with the loser retreating, turning drab and dark colors. Occasionally, the displays result in physical combat if neither contender backs down.
Male Panther Chameleon, Pyreras Reserve, Madagascar For this species, the female is more vibrant than the male and about twice as large. It's interesting how sexual dimorphism is not consistent across chameleon species as the opposite is true for some other species.

The colors of the males are locale based. This green color is generally associated with the region Ambilobe, Antsiranana, and Sambava.

This species has remarkable eyes that look like turret guns, with only a pinhole to see through. They can spot an insect as far as 5-10m away, which is extremely far for a reptile.

Female:
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/85490/female_panther_chameleon_pyreras_reserve_madagascar.html
Red male variant:

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/85494/red_male_panther_chameleon_pyreras_reserve_madagascar.html Africa,Furcifer pardalis,Geotagged,Madagascar,Madagascar 2019,Panther chameleon,Pyreras Reserve,Winter,World

Habitat

It is a common misconception that chameleons of any kind can change colour to match any colour they are up against. All chameleons have a natural colour range with which they are born and is dictated by their species. Colour change is, for the most part, subconscious. It is affected by temperature, mood, and light. If, for example, the colour purple is not within the range of colours their particular species can change, then they will never turn purple.


Like most species of chameleons, the Panther Chameleon is very territorial. They spend the majority of their life in isolation, apart from mating sessions. When two males come into contact, they will change color and inflate their bodies, attempting to assert their dominance. Often these battles end at this stage, with the loser retreating, turning drab and dark colors. Occasionally, the displays result in physical combat if neither contender backs down.
Red Male Panther Chameleon - closeup, Pyreras Reserve, Madagascar  Africa,Furcifer pardalis,Geotagged,Madagascar,Madagascar 2019,Panther chameleon,Pyreras Reserve,Winter,World

Reproduction

Panther Chameleons reach sexual maturity at a minimum age of 7 months.

When gravid, or carrying eggs, females turn dark brown or black with orange striping to signify to males they have no intention of mating. The exact coloration and pattern of gravid females varies depending on the color phase of the chameleon. This provides a way to distinguish between locales.

Females usually only live 2–3 years after laying eggs because of the stress put on their bodies. Females can lay between 10 and 40 eggs per clutch, depending on the food and nutrient consumption during the period of development. Eggs typically hatch in 240 days.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderSquamata
FamilyChamaeleonidae
GenusFurcifer
SpeciesF. pardalis