Proper branch thickness


People often wonder how thick the branches for chameleon enclosures should actually be.

And often, we end up by a conclusion:

The branches should be so thin, so rhat they can grasp around with their pincer-like terminal parts of their extremities.

And this is CORRECT.

Recently, I have seen the following argumentation (I leave the author anonymous):

"A while ago someone here told me the branches in my terrarium were too big.

He needed small branches.

I was overthinking this and realised, in nature are also all type of branches from different trees, tiny and small branches or big branches and even curly branches. A chameleon can choose which branches he likes.

So I let the advise for what is was and let the branches where the are.

We got him even a new branch, a curly big one.

He has it for a few days and guess where our stubborm cham is sleeping since.

Look where he put is curled tale.

So my advise is, observe your cham. Maybe he is very happy with the unusual things.

By the way, our cham never sleeps between the leaves."

My response was as follows:

You miss clearl two points and make wrong conclusions.

1. He lives not in free space but in a very tiny enclosure if compared to the free nature. So, your speculations about free choice are false. He has such limited number of options that about free choice we can not talk at all. Maybe he likes the place and he is OK with the branch… Make an experiment: Put at the same place please tomorrow an old shoe (it is a metaphor - replace it with whatever: a log, a stone etc}. Maybe he will sleep in it. But, please, do not conclude that chameleons like sleeping in old shoes. :-)

2. I have seen thousands of panthers in the wild, where they have free choice and you are right, in their environment, there is really a big choice of diameters of branches from several meters thick stems to tiny branches.

I have NEVER seen them sleep on anything bigger than about a half inch thick branch. So, I take the liberty to conclude, based on thousands of observations with real free choice, they do NOT prefer anything thicker than half inch and your conclusion I respectfully declare as wrong, biased by your experiment method and captive extremely limited environment.

If you want proofs, please go to my YouTube channel or website, and see dozens of photos and videos

Having said all this, I am not convinced that sleeping on a thick branch causes him any significant harm. But if you want to have his branch natural, use one of a proper thickness.

One of many examples of a Panther sleeping in the wild

The branches should be so thin, so that chameleons can grasp around

with their pincer-like terminal parts of their extremities.

Author: Petr Nečas