Injuries in chameleons after falling from the branches


Injuries in chameleons after falling from the branches

Quite often people claim, their chameleon was hurt while falling from the branch in the cage. And they say unproven info about ruptures of inner organs, bone breaks, luxation of limbs and bruises, eye problems and many other problems.

The problem is that most of these statements are fake fabulations with no base.

There are just three options:

1. It is a nonsense. In the wild, I saw chameleons deliberately jumping from 2m, 6m and 14m high - falling to the ground untouched, ready to run away or bite. Some even inflate their bodies or coil them together as a disc to make advantage of air flowing around to soften and slow down the falling. No single one was hurt. They use it as a standard mechanism how to escape their predators - be it hornbills, monkeys or snakes. So, falling in a densely vegetated cage full of branches from maximum 3ft high is just a joke and not a dangerous fall, maybe with the exception of little babies.

2. It is a bad luck. In a very low percentage of probability, there can be a sharp or pointed object in the trajectory of the fall. Then, light bruises, cuts or penetration of the body cavity might happen. In 37years of my research in the wild and practice in captivity, I have seen it just once and the injury was not serious.

3. The fall is not a reason but a result. Chameleons can fall only if extremely disabled and weakened - either by a disease (such as MBD, RI, renal failure) or by disorientation due to wrong cage structure, equipment or supplementation. The healthy chameleon technically can not fall. So, if it breaks three ribs after a fall, the reason was nit the fall but wrong supplementation and lighting induced MBD.

To prevent chameleons from falling, they have a very special skeletal musculature, which enables them with almost zero energy to keep the muscles in the position, in which it is set. These s.c. static muscular fibers care fir their stability even when they sleep even in strong wind. They sleep in blizzards nit moving one millimeter and DO NOT FALL.


Healthy chameleon does not fall

If it falls, it was a rare accident.

If a chameleon falls and hurts itself, then this is a result of another reason, usually a pathology or wrong captive care.

Author: Petr Nečas