Reptile of a Different Color

Earth Day is upon us. This year I wanted to draw something vibrant. Something that would bring a smile to my face as I was drawing it. The chameleon was the perfect subject. I layered colored pencils on top of Prismacolor markers to achieve the brightness I was looking for. Last year I changed things up and used wisteria and daffodils to accent the earth day drawing, but this year I was back to drawing calla lilies and tulips. Their colorful textures call to me all winter.

chameleon 3There are 160 different species of chameleon, with 59 of them exist only on the island of Madagascar. The other species range from Africa to the southern parts of Europe. Their eyes have a 360-degree range of sight around their body and can see in two different directions at once. A useful advantage while spying on enemies.

Chromatophores, the cells in the chameleon’s skin that allows them to change color, contain melanin fibers that spread through the layers of pigment causing the cells to change color. These changes can occur depending on the chameleon’s mood or temperature. More recently, scientists have found that, much like the Flamingo, chameleons also get their colorations from the food that they eat.

Much like myself, chameleons are loners and pretty territorial. The females dislike having males around. In the off chance that the female does want to be touched, the end result is usually mating. Chameleons have no interest in parenting. When their young are born they are on their own.

chameleon 2

The biggest threat to the chameleon is habitat loss from slash and burn agriculture techniques. Of the 160 species of chameleon, 9 are critically endangered, 37 are endangered, and 20 are vulnerable. If you would like to help the chameleon and other living creatures, check out the website for the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF works around the world to fight the effects of climate change and to help conserve animals and their habitats.

Prints of this drawing are available on my Etsy page. I donate $10 from the sale of each print to the WWF.  If you venture to my Etsy page, be sure to check it out.

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