The chameleon is able to balance perfectly still by gripping a branch with its pincer-like claws. It also holds on by wrapping its long, grasping tail around the branch. The tail remains coiled up when not in use. The chameleon has unique eyes that can rove and swivel. They can focus together like humans or they can focus separately to observe two different objects simultaneously. The chameleons tongue is as long as its body and is sticky with a club-shaped mucus-covered tip.
Chameleons are known for their ability to change color to match their environment as a defense against predators. Color changes occur when the color cell becomes larger or smaller, regulating the amount of multicolored reflection each layer of pigment produces.
The cage should be furnished with a variety of horizontal perching surfaces and diameters so that the lizard can easily navigate the entire cage. The arrangements of lights, plants and branches should provide at least one basking site where the temperature will reach the upper limits of the animal's preferred optimal temperature zone. There should be other comfortable perching sites with slightly cooler temperatures.
Use newspaper, reptile bedding or reptile turf. Create shelters with climbing and basking areas. A large bowl of fresh water for drinking and soaking should be provided at all times.
Keep the tank between 82 and 95 during the day and 72 to 80 at night. Use under tank heating pads for a 24-hour heat source.
The temperature in the rest of the enclosure should be still lower allowing the animal to thermoregulate by moving around the cage. Most chameleons do best with a 10-15 degree F drop in temperature at night.