It’s useful having a set of independently moving eyes. Set in turret-like structures the chameleon can swivel one eye to detect prey and at the same time keep an eye out for predators / photographers creeping up from behind. I was lucky to spot this perfectly camouflaged Namaqua chameleon against the desert sands near Walvis Bay, in Namibia. The sun was blazing down and I happened to notice movement – it’s slow comical gait caught my eye. It was hunting ants. They have evolved ways to prevent overheating in this extreme environment and “stilting” – standing on straightened legs to keep it’s body off the hot sands and moving in extreme slow motion are actions to keep cool. While most other chameleons are arboreal, the Namaqua is a ground dweller, digging holes in the desert sand to reach the cooler layers beneath or taking shelter from the sun in burrows built by other animals.
19 thoughts on “Eye Spy”
Wow Wow Wow what an incredible creature and lovely photos… We never got to see one of these… I used a selection of African creatures in mine this week
Love the photos of the chameleon!
Wow, super nice pictures. Thanks for all this information about these fascinating creatures 🙂
Thanks for the comment, Samuel 🙂
Excellent photos and natural history lesson! The adaptations of this lizard to thrive in such a harsh environment are a wonder of nature. It looks lean in the body – is this typical form?
Thanks Nick. This was one critter I was chuffed to find! I read that they are able to ‘elongate’ to present less of a form to the midday sun, although i can’t find any scientific reference. Interesting thought though, opposite to a bird fluffing up it’s feathers for insulation.
Nice title and nice image of a species I haven’t seen before. I also learned a new word, “chuffed” 🙂
very well captured Liz, I like the one you got with his leg in the air!
Beautiful pics Liz, this little guy really blends well with its background environment.
What a lucky sighting Liz, and beautiful photos you got of him!
Those are really some great photos! Perfect for this weeks photo challenge:) What a camouflage!
You often pick the best photos for WPC, Liz. What a beautiful and fascinating creature!
That’s a nice comment :). Thanks Eliza!
Lovely shots and you’re so right about the comical gait. I photographed some in the Walvis dunes a few years back and they are fascinating to watch.
These are excellent shots, Liz. The colors and textures are gorgeous.
Thanks Jane. Yes this is one handsome creature 🙂
What a gorgeous creature Liz, I can’t help wondering why he looks like he does! Wasn’t Namibia previously called Namaqualand?
Isn’t it just! And built for purpose, so beautifully adapted to it’s harsh environment. On the geography and the terms – Namaqualand is that arid area just south of Namibia on the South African side of the border in the northern Cape (and named for the Nama people) while Namibia is what formerly was South West Africa. Named for the Namibia desert – also derived from a Nama word meaning ‘vast place’.