The Mellers' chameleon is sometimes referred to as the giant one-horned chameleon, because of the small horn that protrudes from the tip of its snout. It has bright green and yellow stripes with brown and black spots along its body. These colors and patterns help it camouflage among the treetops of its native range.
Meller's chameleons can also change color. It is a common misconception that chameleons change color to blend in with their surroundings. A chameleon's natural coloring already camouflages it within its natural habitat. For these animals, changing color indicates stress or can be used as a communication tool. Chameleons also share another common characteristic—they can move each eye independently.
These reptiles reach lengths of 2 to 2 1/2 feet (61 to 76 centimeters). Their tails are one-third the length of their bodies.
These carnivores consume insects, smaller lizards, spiders, worms and caterpillars. They project their tongue to capture prey, extending it up to 20 inches (51 centimeters).
At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, Meller's chameleons eat crickets, mealworms and cockroaches.