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How Long Is a Chameleon’s Tongue?

A chameleon’s tongue is around 7.5 inches (19.0 cm) long—approximately 1.5 times the length of the small reptile’s body. From its resting state, the chameleon tongue can extend six times to reach its full length. In addition to a chameleon’s tongue being so long in comparison to its body, its tongue also has the ability to move quickly. Chameleons strike prey so fast with their tongues, it is not even visible to the human eye. It’s estimated that the chameleon tongue can travel at speeds of one-tenth of a blink of a human eye, or at speeds of 26 of its body lengths every second.

More about chameleons:

  • Chameleons’ eyes can move independently of one another, allowing them to view two different objects at once.

  • The ability for chameleons to change their skin color is not just used to blend into their surroundings—they also use skin color to communicate mating availability and even mood.

  • Baby chameleons instinctively know how to hunt and begin capturing their own insect prey within a few days of birth.

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