The image above shows the position of the inner organs (this example shows a female of chamaeleo calyptratus). Because of the organs faded due to the fixing process, we accentuated them with colors. The black exemption pigment coating at the middle gastrointestinal tract is a exception (the coloration of this part maintained).


Chameleons can move their eyes independently. But it is not possible for them to look in two different directions. They have to change their perception form one eye to another. When they look at something intensive or hunt a prey, they focus it with both eyes and a space field of vision is made.

The upper and lower eyelids are adhered in a way that an opening is generated above the round pupil and the iris.


The tongue efforts the chameleons to catch preys from a certain distance. In resting state, the tongue lays on the hyoid. When chameleons see a prey, they focus them with their eyes and the tongue will be catapulted (pictures below).

If it is possible, they will aim the head of the insects.

On the following pictures, you will see the position of the hyoid during a “shoot” which is marked. On the lower picture, the front part of the hyoid gleam through the complete stretched tongue.

The picture below shows the position of the hyoid within the tongue. You can see the middle part of the tongue covers the bone “like a sock”.

The position of the tongue apparatus on a body cross-section is shown on the first picture above. On the following picture, you will see the position of the hyoid at a skeleton (Furcifer pardalis).

This is a side close-up view of the front part of a chameleon’s tongue.

This from the top,...

...the bottom...

...and from the front.

On the following picture you can see the cudgel-liked structure of the front tongue area that is in a stretched status (from Bradypodion xenorhinum ).  The Zophoba is added to the picture later behalf on size comprehensive.

The tip of the tongue looks like the tip of the proboscis of elephants

At a shoot, the prey doesn’t stick to the tip of the tongue. It is taken by interaction of “gripping” and vacuum. The vacuum emerges because of the middle part of the tip of tongue is more tense than the outer. On the right picture it is pronounced that it looks like the cricket disappears into the tongue.

During tongue retraction, the chameleons close their eyes to avoid injuries.


The feet of chameleons are well applicable for climbing on branches and something like that. The toes are coadunated in the following way:

At the hind feet two toes are inwards and three outwards.

The bones of the toes are not coadunate. You can see that on the picture below.

At the fore feet it is reverse. Three toes are inwards and two are outwards.


The tail is used as additional support for climbing. With the grip function, the chameleons can move safely through the branches. During they sleep, the tail is rolled completely (picture right below).

When the chameleons are in the threatening posture, the tail is also rolled. They do that because of that, the body appears bigger. Additionally, they inflate themselves, lift an arm and press the hyoid (which is laying in the mouth) down as much as possible to appear more massive. Furthermore, they hiss with open mouth (lower picture) and swing the body.

Sex differences

Many chameleon species’ sex differences are not just identifiable on colorations but also on their anatomy. The older the chameleon the apparent it is.

Adult males of Chamaeleo calyptratus have a highly pronounced helmet whereas the helmet of females is perspicuously smaller.

Another sex difference of Chamaeleo calyptratus is a Tarsal spur at the hind legs of the males (marked by the red ring). This Tarsal spur is shown right after birth. Therefore, it is possible to differ male and females immediately after their hatch.


The males of many chameleon species’ have a significant hemipenal bulges.


The groins (Canthi rostrales) of males from panther chameleons (picture left) that are located on the skulls’ back are more pronounced then by females’ skulls. That applies also for Calumma parsonii (pictures below for example).

This Chameleon calyptratus (female) died because of an infection of the left oviduct (see picture below)

Detailed view of a Furcifer pardalis skull.

This is a skeleton of a male Calumma parsonii parsonii.