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The Namaqua Chameleon has evolved several adaptations to cope with desert conditions; they excrete salt from nasal glands to conserve water, and dig holes to aid in thermoregulation. They also use their ability to change colour to aid in controlling temperature, becoming black in the cooler morning to absorb heat more efficiently, then a lighter grey color to reflect light during the heat of the day - or showing both colours at the same time, neatly separated left from right by the spine.
Unlike the arboreal chameleons of the genus Chamaeleo, its tail is not prehensile, but otherwise it still hunts in the same way, slowly stalking its prey and catching it with its long tongue. Namaqua Chameleons feed on insects (particularly beetles), crickets, lizards, including young chameleons of their own species, small snakes, and even scorpions, hunting them in both sandy dunes and rocky areas.
The larger female (160 mm) lays around 20 eggs which take about 100 days to hatch.
Namaqua Chameleons are listed as CITES II. In 2012 the filming of the Mad Max sequel Fury Road caused significant damage to Namaqua Chameleon habitat in Dorob National Park and Namib-Naukluft National Park.
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