Meller's chameleon in exhibit

Meller’s Chameleon

Scientific Name

Chamaeleo melleri

Class

Reptilia

Order

Squamata

Range

East Africa

Habitat

Forests

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
Meller's chameleon in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

More Information

Physical Description

The largest chameleons in mainland Africa, Meller’s chameleons can reach up to two feet in length. Their default color is bright green and yellow, with brown and black spots along their body. Like all chameleons, though, they can change color as a means of communication thanks to specialized cells called chromatophores. Meller's chameleons are masters of chamoflauge and can easily blend into the treetops, where they hunt insects, small lizards, spiders, and worms. Females lay eggs in a leaf-covered hole in the ground.

Interesting Fact 1

Male and female Meller's chameleons are physically identical with no distinguishable sexual characteristics.

Interesting Fact 2

These reptiles use their independently moving eyes to spot prey and watch for predators.

Interesting Fact 3

Their tongue can extend up to 20 inches to snap up a meal.

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care. 

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

ADOPT an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.  

Browse the Wish List

Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

Learn More