Because they possess a highly unique long and projective tongue, chameleons have been viewed as strictly insectivorous and considered to use a specific tongue projection method in every feeding event. I report behavioral observations on fruit feeding by Furcifer oustaleti in the field as the first evidence of spontaneous feeding attempts on plant material by wild chameleons. Also, I present results of a feeding experiment to examine differences in feeding on fruits and insects. When chameleons fed on small fruits, most individuals directly picked up them with the mouth at short range, whereas chameleons almost always used tongue projection from a distance to capture small aerial insects. Such alternative feeding tactics occurred within individuals exposed to both foods over a short interval. These results suggest that chameleons discriminate food types to perform the appropriate feeding tactic to efficiently consume different types of food. When chameleons used the direct pickup tactic for fruit in the experiment, the tongue contacted the food item before the jaws did, suggesting that the chameleons have retained lingual prehension, the typical motor pattern of other iguanian lizards.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.