American Chameleon:
Friendly Quick-Change Artist

By William T. Hathaway

American Chameleon (Anole Carolinensis)

In 1977 a student on our field trip to eastern North Carolina captured this lizard. Of course, he was thrilled to have learned about this apparently friendly reptile. After a bit of handling and conversation about the creature, this specimen transformed from green to a pale brownish color. What more could an aspiring young naturalist have asked than to have enjoyed handling a chameleon!

Our common coastal plain chameleon can indeed change its colors; however, its ability to change colors cannot compare with the color changes achieved by Old World chameleons.

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