Some scientists believe that chameleons can withstand falls from great heights because they have thick skins. However, I am inclined to believe that the shock at the moment of the impact will still be felt internally even though they have thick skin.
Because of the weight and size of the reptile, the fall will not only result in broken limbs but also severe internal injuries.
These chameleons are known for their excellent climbing abilities, but unfortunately, they aren’t very tough. If you drop them, they could get hurt.
These reptiles often climb rocks and small trees, but they lack sticky feet that can help them adhere to smooth or rough surfaces, making it even more likely that they will slip and fall.
However, even though they don’t have sticky feet, their claws should provide ample grip support when maneuvering tree branches and other surfaces.
What happens if a baby chameleon falls?
Baby chameleons won’t die when they fall because they can float down slowly and land without harm due to their terminal velocity being so slow.
Can chameleons handle a fall?
A chameleon can handle a fall if it lands on a soft surface like any sponge-like material, bedding, or grass because this will not result in any injuries, however, even this impact can leave them stunted for a few minutes.
Can chameleons survive terminal velocity?
A large chameleon’s terminal velocity can kill them because the air resistance is very little against their size and weight.
It’s even worse when the impact is against hard surfaces such as tiles, cement, or wood because they can suffer internal injuries or broken bones, versus softer surfaces like grass, chair cushion, or bedding which can provide a more gentle landing.
However, when the situation is reversed to small chameleons, there is no question that they can survive terminal velocity due to how lightweight they are.
Can chameleons fall to their death?
It is possible for a mid-size to a large chameleon to fall to its death.
When a chameleon falls toward any hard surface like tile or concrete between an average of 10-15 feet, it can die because the impact when it hits the ground can rupture internal organs leading to internal bleeding.
If you are aware of the chameleon falling, you should get it to your local veterinarian for a quick checkup to ensure that all is well.
However, this won’t be the case for chameleons falling onto soft surfaces like grass, hay, or perhaps bedding because the impact will be absorbed by the soft area in which it lands.
Can chameleons survive a fall?
A chameleon that falls will make a splat sound when it hits the ground and even if it does survive, it can result in a few broken limbs or paralysis.
As a result of the fall, the reptile can be stunted or in a state of shock and stays frozen for 20-30 minutes before slowly crawling again.
But the sight of chameleons falling makes me sad, especially if my attempt to do something is futile, however, it’s heartwarming when you see them showing signs of life.
If you are ever in a situation like this, don’t panic.
Chameleons eventually recover from temporary paralysis but if it puts you at ease, you can contact a local veterinarian to check out your pet chameleon.
Do chameleons feel pain when they fall?
It’s important to note that chameleons also have pain receptors like vertebrates.
Their central nervous system will not only detect an irritation coming from the affected area but it will also set off the pain receptors.
Oftentimes it can be difficult to assess whether a reptile is stressed or in pain, especially after a fall, however, they are capable of expressing painful behaviors and showing signs of physical discomfort.
Furthermore, there are studies that found that animals can experience pain through a process called nociception.
According to researchers, animals that have suffered injuries in the past became hypersensitive in an attempt to protect themselves by sensing and avoiding dangerous stimuli.
Do chameleons take fall damage?
No, small chameleons don’t take fall damage but large chameleons won’t be able to withstand the impact of their terminal velocity.
If there is equal air resistance against a small object, it floats more in the air as it descends.
This essentially means that air resistance increases a small object’s floatability and even though some chameleons are small and relatively weightless, they can fall from great heights without suffering any fall damage.
Can chameleons die falling out of a tree?
Often times when a chameleon is climbing a small tree, it uses the claws on its hands and feet for grip and remains stationary when it needs to.
However, a chameleon can fall off a small tree and it’s not because their claws can’t hold them but rather, it’s their weight that leads to the downfall.
Allow me to paint a picture of what can happen, the chameleon is slowly walking along the branch but misses a step which leads to him falling to the side.
While he attempts to climb back up, his arms eventually get weary while the claws give out due to the weight being held up.
Bloop! Off he goes!
Additionally, chameleons are cold-blooded animals and since cold weather immobilizes them, it can lead to temporary paralysis causing them to fall out of trees if they lose their grip.
What happens to chameleons when they fall?
After a chameleon falls on a hard surface, it enters a state of shock where it remains frozen until the stunted effects wear off.
What happens if a chameleon falls on its back?
A chameleon falling onto its back will make a loud splat, however, the reptile will remain unharmed if the impact was against a soft surface like a sponge or bedding but if the reptile made contact with a hard surface, you should take it to the nearest vet clinic asap.
How do I know if my chameleon was injured from falling?
The ability to detect whether a reptile is internally injured can be difficult to assess, however, they can express pain through their behavior and show signs of physical distress.
To avoid taking the risk of waiting to see if something is wrong, you should make contact with your local veterinarian to assess your pet.
Interested in learning more about the animals that can’t die from falling? You can read more about it here – what animals can’t die from falling.
Scientific American – The Secret to Chameleons’ Ability to Change Color
Physics Classroom – Free Fall & Air Resistance
Science Advances – Nerve injury drives a heightened state of vigilance and neuropathic sensitization in Drosophila
Pub Med – Pain and its Control in Reptiles