Twig Chameleon

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Godfrey spotted this cute side-striped chameleon (Trioceros bitaeniatus) yesterday hanging out on an acacia tree. I’ve crossed paths with it many times since, and it always flattens itself against the branch, straightens its tail, and rotates out of view. Only once I spotted it from a distance, and it had adopted a classic chameleon posture with a curled tail. So far its color has varied from monotone gray-and-white to warmer reddish orange with less pronounced lateral patterning. Whatever suit of choice, its twig masquerade is so convincing. Sometimes it can take several minutes of staring to finally see its turret eyes rotating back at me. Usually the chameleon retreats back to the inner branches in response to my presence, though it will eventually return to the outermost branch — its favorite perch to reside on.

All photos taken after disturbance [4]

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