They’re so small that a pencil or fingertip make a comfortable seat, but these newly hatched Veiled Chameleon babies are massively cute.
More than 20 baby chameleons were welcomed into the world at the Taronga Zoo in Australia this week.
About 2 inches long, the chameleon hatchlings are the first born at the Zoo in over five years.
They’re already feeding on crickets, and are sporting a bright green color. These guys are native to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and will be mature and able to display their full color range within a year.
“Veiled Chameleons are a visually amazing species that we’re fortunate to have at Taronga. While they’re not endangered, they do play an important educational role in helping us to get people excited about reptiles and reptile conservation,” said reptile supervisor, Michael McFadden.
They are usually green or brown but will change color when courting or in defense mode.
“You’ll see shades of green, yellow, aqua and even very dark brown or black depending on their temperature, mood and reproductive behavior. However, they don’t change color to match a particular background like you see in cartoons,” said Michael.
Their tongues are used for catching prey, projecting up to 1.5 times their body length. Another neat trick they have is that, because their eyes are independent of each other, they can look in opposite directions at the same time.
Unfortunately the babies won’t go on public display until they reach maturity. The zoo plans to keep four, and other Australian zoos and wildlife parks will be given the rest in a few months.