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The word Kinyongia is from the Swahili word for chameleons: Kinyonga.
The word Chamaeleo is derived via Latin from the Greek word khamaileon. It roughly translates to ground lion. Khamai means on the ground and leon means lion.
The smallest chameleon species is Brookesia micra with an adult length just over 1 inch (29mm). It hatches from an egg no bigger than a grain of rice!
The word Brookesia is named after the British naturalist Joshua Brookes.
The process of shedding is called ecdysis.
Chameleons do not have external ears or a tympanic membrane, but they do have internal ears as well as degenerated middle ears. They do not hear well but they can detect low frequency sounds.
Furcifer labordi (Labord’s Chameleon) has the shortest lifespan of only 4-5 months. It also has the shortest lifespan of any tetrapod!
Chameleon fossils have been found in central Europe and China, indicating they were once much more widespread than they are now.
Chameleons have a very poor sense of smell.
The oldest known chameleon fossil is from the extinct species Chamaeleo caroliquarti. It was found in Europe and is 26 million years old.


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