How does a chameleon’s eyesight work?

Chameleons are extraordinary reptiles, with some of the most colourful and dynamic features in the animal kingdom


The eyes of a chameleon are positioned on either side of its head, and they can move independently to scan the surroundings for food or potential predators. This gives them nearly 360-degree vision at any given time. Surrounded completely by a cone-shaped eyelid, the small central opening reveals the animal’s pupil. Each eye works independently to locate, zoom in, and focus on its prey, and can do this with incredible efficiency and speed. When it eventually spots its next meal, both of the animal’s eyes hone in to make a precision death blow with its remarkable tongue, which is longer than the animal itself.


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Photograph: Michael Shehan Obeyseker