Chameleons vary in size and body structure. The smallest is just a bit over 1 inch and the largest is about 27 inches. They come in a variety of colors and many have ornamental features on their head or face (like "horns"). Males are normally more flashy than females.
Chameleons have special cells (called chromatophores) that lie under their outer skin. These cells contain pigments, including the colors red, yellow, blue, and white. The brain tells the cells to shrink or enlarge, causing the pigments to mix (like paint), thus causing their color to change. Melanin also plays a role in color change by darkening the skin.
Many people believe the chameleon changes color to blend in with their environment. Scientists disagree with this. Studies have shown that mood, temperature, and light causes their color to change.
The tongue is another interesting feature of the chameleon. The tip of their tongue is covered with a sticky secretion that grabs its prey. They can "shoot out" their long tongue (which can be as long as their body) and have their prey in their mouth in a fraction of a second (faster than what the human eye can see). They can repeat this action immediately afterwards.
The chameleon can move one eye in one direction while moving the other eye in a different direction. It also has the ability to view its surrounding with nearly 360° vision.
Feet & Tail
Chameleons have 5 toes on each foot (2 are fused together and 3 are fused together). This helps them to get a good grip (like vices) around branches. They can also wrap their tail around branches to help them hang on.