There is a reason this video of a chameleon hatching – posted in 2008 – has over 1,715,098 views. I could do without the epic music, but overall this video is absolutely captivating; it starts changing colors within minutes. You can watch its tiny two-toed zygodactylous feet and independently mobile eyes experience the world for the first time. Click below to watch the incredible footage!
Most chameleon species lay eggs (oviparous), while a few give birth to live young (ovoviviparous).
The oviparous species lay eggs three to six weeks after mating takes place. The female will dig a hole in the ground and deposit her eggs, covering them with dirt, keeping them warm and safe. The mom then leaves the eggs to hatch and fend for themselves – which can take anywhere from 4-12 months, even longer for some species. Chameleon babies are independent at birth and must find their own food and shelter.
A batch of chameleon eggs is referred to as a ‘clutch.’ Clutch sizes vary greatly depending on the species. Click here to view an African Flapneck chameleon burrow her eggs and wait for the babies to hatch and catch their first snack!
The ovoviviparous species, like Jackson’s chameleons, have a five to seven-month gestation period. Each young chameleon is born within the sticky transparent membrane of its yolk sac. Once the membrane bursts, newly hatched chameleon babies free themselves and climb away for their first feeding.