Table of Contents
When you are looking for the best pet reptile, iguana, chameleon, and lizard come to mind, right? We thought these kinds are pretty much the same thing. However, they have many differences in size, color, appearance, as well as habitat.
In fact, there is much more to consider when choosing between an iguana, chameleon, and a lizard. Now, let’s take a look at this article to learn about the difference between them.
Chameleon Vs Lizard
The fact is that chameleons are lizards. They are actually large lizards that belong to the Chamaeleonidae family. There are 2 genres and about 50 species of chameleons. You can also find chameleons in warm climates.
Chameleons have stereoscopic mobile eyes, highly modified executable tongues, parrot-like zygodactylous feet, crests on their heads, and a prehensile tail. They have the ability to change the body colour.
Chameleons have laterally compressed bodies, large heads, and sticky tongues, as well as fused feet. Thanks to the prehensile tail along with their fused feet, they can move from one branch to another with ease. There are also cone-shaped eyes that can move in all directions.
Chameleon has the ability to change body color according to the situation. This may be a unique characteristic of this animal.
Iguana vs. Chameleon
Both of them are reptiles. They have 202 species of chameleon. You can find Chameleons in Asia, Africa, as well as Europe. Iguanas can be found in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Chameleons are able to survive in different habitats from rainforests to savannas and deserts. And, iguanas can survive in tropical forests as well as areas near the rivers. Here are some unique features to help you identify these two animals:
Color of the Skin
Chameleons come with finely granulated skin that may be blue, pink, orange, red, yellow, turquoise, and green colored. These animals can change their skin colors to blend with their environment. When they change their mood, they may also change the color of their skin. This may be used for thermoregulation or communication.
Iguanas usually have green color skin. However, they may be also lavender, bluish, pink, or black colored.
Size and Morphology of the Body
Chameleons can have a length of 0.6 to 27 inches. These animals have a long tail, sticky tongue, and compressed body. Some of them may have crest or horns on top of the head.
Iguanas can reach a length of 4-6 feet. There are spiny crests on their back and colorful scales behind their necks. Moreover, they have a light-sensing organ on the top of the head. They also have a flap of skin under the neck for thermoregulation.
Iguanas are able to move their eyes independently. They can see two different pictures at the same time. However, chameleons don’t have this ability. In spite of the poor mobility of their eyes, iguanas are known for great eyesight and ability to detect colors with excellent precision.
Iguanas include flowers, fruits, leaves, and shoots in their diets. However, chameleon’s diet is based on insects. The fact is that small birds and lizards may be used to feed large chameleons.
Most chameleons live in the trees. There are only a few species are adapted to live on the solid ground. Chameleons come with zygodactyl feet, including 5 toes on each foot. They also have a prehensile tail that helps them to move safely in the trees.
Not like a chameleon, iguanas don’t have zygodactyl feet. In spite of it, they can still climb well as chameleons. In fact, these animals spend most of their life in the trees.
Other Facts About Iguanas
Many people may not know that iguanas shed. Well, these animals grow quite fast. Therefore, you may need to make room when they become bigger. You need to find signs that your iguana is going to shed.
You can see your iguana’s skin becomes more dull in color and opaque. If there are rocks in their habitat, they may begin rubbing their bodies against them.
Therefore, it’s important to keep them at the right humidity level to help them with the shed. If there is any trouble, it’s a good idea to mist them with warm water.
Iguanas Can Drop Their Tails
If you have new iguanas, you may be surprised that they can drop their tails. This is actually a defense mechanism that helps your iguanas getaway a predator.
If your iguanas are healthy and young, their tails may grow back in spite of not being as long or the same color. It’s important to take your iguana to the vet even when they are healthy because this process may even result in the death of the reptile.
You can keep all lizards as pets. However, you need to give them plenty of specialized care. You have to build the right habitats. Also, it’s important for you to give them adequate light, food, water, and heat.
Both iguanas and chameleons are great pets for those who can put enough time and care into them. Hopefully, our comparison can help you understand more about them. Then, you can decide which one is suitable for you.
Last, keep in mind that it’s wrong to raise both chameleons and iguanas in the same enclosure since they are not social creatures. In fact, the chameleon can thrive alone, but iguanas may try to kill another lizard in their habitat. Be cautious!