Silhouette of an Oustalet's chameleon

Chameleons

Chameleons are famed for their ability to change colour, though not all species can. In a few types, the colour change is used as camouflage, but in most it is actually a form of communication. When not 'talking' to potential mates or warning off rivals, these chameleons will revert to a default colour that merges with their habitat - green for a jungle species, beige for a desert one.

Scientific name: Chamaeleonidae

Rank: Family

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Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Chameleons taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Chameleons can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Madagascar. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

BBC News about Chameleons

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

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    In autumn 2009, a major new series brought us life as we've never seen it before.

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    Like nowhere else on Earth, the mystery and magic of Madagascar leaves a vivid impression on all those who visit, and none more so than David Attenborough.

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