The Myth About The Belly Scar Unleashed

29/06/2020

Very often chameleon keepers panic because they find a scar on the belly of the chamaeleon.

They think it is a burn.

They think it is an injury.

They think it is an anomaly.

Interestingly

  • the scar is always at the same spot in the midventral line at about 1/5 of the distance from the cloaca to chin,
  • the scar is emarginated by enlarged white scales, same as on the ventral crest
  • the scar is situated in a place, where the ventral crest divides into two rows of enlarged scales
  • every single wild or captive chameleon has it.

Why is that?

Because it is the umbilicus, the belly button.

It is the exact place where the embryo during the embryonic development either in the egg or in the body cavity of the female has been connected with the yolk sack by the umbilical cord. This cord serves the nutrition of the embryo and is constricted and dismembered during the process of hatching (in the case of oviparous species) or birth (in the case of the viviparous species). It stays as a stump visible the first hours or even days of life to become notable as a scare later on, once the belly button area is healed.

So, no worries, a belly scar is absolutely OK!