Angel Galdo Guest writers

The most ancient residents in La Herradura

chameleon face The most ancient residents in La Herradura is perhaps the common Chameleon, Chamaeleo chamaeleon, who we know was already part the Phoenician, the South and the East Mediterranean culture. There are those who think that this is not a coincidence.

Local farmers have always seen these animals in their surroundings but apparently their number has increased in recent decades, perhaps because of a change in attitude towards them. Formerly it was thought that the Chameleon would spit on women and that as a result they could become bald.

The Chameleon has opposable fingers and a prehensile tail, designed for life in the trees and it has been able to adapt to the climatic evolution over the last million years and nowadays you can often see them walking on the ground or perched on a broom or a bush. They have multiple skills with their retractable skills, they bi-directional eyes, the apparent change of size, and of course its capacity to change of colour.

Normally their colour is brown, but during mating season the males become green; meanwhile females acquired a blackish blue colour when they are ready to mate. Other reasons for their change of colour are the expression of their mood, camouflage and to receive more or less solar radiation.

chameleon 1It is a solitary and territorial animal and does not tolerate the nearby presence of other congeners, unless it is of the opposite sex and only during the mating season. After the female has mated she becomes aggressive against males who are not collaborating with her. She lays up to 40 eggs, buried in the ground; at the end of the summer, and before the colder season arrives the adults become sluggish; however the young can continue to remain active throughout the year.

It is illegal to collect a chameleon in the field and keep it at home. The best thing to do when you find a chameleon is to not touch it, except if they are at risk. In that case you can take it outside and put it in a bush or in an olive tree so that it is out of reach of dogs and cats.

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