|Vumile and the Dragon|
by Claerwen Howie
Cape Dwarf Chameleon
By: Imogen Cupido
The Cape Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodionpumilum), are native to Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa. The tongue is almost twice the size of its body, so it can catch insects that are a distance away. To do this, it needs a special muscle in the jaw.
When they are born they are identical mini versions of their parents. Unlike other chameleons that lay eggs, dwarf chameleons give birth to live babies. They are brown when born, and then they become green as they age.
Cape Dwarf Chameleons are actually the largest of the Dwarf Chameleon species. They are normally very slow moving and they are very hard to see because they are camouflaged. If they get angry, they can speed up to 7 cm a second. If they get even angrier, they will inflate themselves, hiss, change colour dramatically and bite. They don't have sharp teeth, so their bite rarely feels like a slight pinch.
If you live in Cape Town, please be careful when using garden cutters in your garden so that you don't hurt one of these beautiful little creatures! And if you have a pet, be careful where it goes so it doesn't eat one! These animals are endangered.
These are not to be meant as pets, but if you want one you must make sure it is legal in your area.
The scientific name for this animal is: Bradypodion pumilum. Bradypodion means 'slow foot' in Greek, and refers to the 'stop-go' pace of the chameleon.
The tail of the male is slightly longer than the head and body combined. The females' however are slightly shorter.
Their diet consists of small grasshoppers, crickets and many other flying insects. They use
their long sticky tongues for this.
The colour may vary, but they are basically leaf green with an orange stripe on the side of the body and orange markings on the head. The Cape Dwarf Chameleon was first discovered in a shrubs and bushes around a vineyard.
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