Common Chameleon - BIO 203
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Habitat and Geography

Chamaeleo chamaeleon musae inhabits areas of dense vegetation surrounded by leaves and branches (Lustig et al. 2013) and is found during the spring and summer with a peak during the month of May (Ibrahim 2013). Chamaeleo chamaeleon resides from the western part of the Mediterranean area to the eastern Nile Delta of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East while the Chamaeleo chamaeleon musae inhabits Sinai in Egypt (Ibrahim 2013). Chameleons share this enviroment with Bromus tectorum, also known as Cheatgrass, native to the same Mediterranean area.  Most chameleon are arboreal, meaning that they live in trees such as the pistachio tree (Pistcia vera) and typically, are most active between the hours of 9:00am and 11:00am and roost in trees at night (Ibrahim 2013, Cuadrado 1999). In southeastern Spain, chameleons have been documented to have the tendency to pick environments under human development with roads and little vegetation over nearby natural areas File:Balearic Sea map.pngwhere the death rates would be greatly reduced. In these developed area, the rate of death is high due to road accidents, loss of nesting sites, and collection of chameleons as pets (Hodar et al. 2000). Chameleons sustain themselves by living in environments that have both natural resources and human land development. The chameleon makes use of human measures such as blocked off safe nesting sites, road barriers, and the restoration movement that provides them with a habitat (Hodar et al. 2000).  An ontogenetic habitat shift occurs within the Chamaeleo chamaeleon as a result of the cannibalistic nature among adult chameleons. Factors contributing to this ontogenetic habitat shift include intraspecific competition, interactions among organisms, size of prey, and morphological restrictions on movement (Keren-Rotem et al. 2006). As a result, the juvenile chameleons live in low grasses while the adult chameleons occupy trees and bushes with little to no overlap in living spaces. The separation in habitats is forced by the risk of predation by the adult chameleons (Keren-Rotem et al. 2006).

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