Might want to get a Chameleon

LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
edited September 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok, so I've wanted some sort of reptile for a while, But my parents have never wanted one (afraid of it getting loose), however, now that Im out on my own I can get one. I think I would really like to have a chameleon. I've always thought they were pretty awesome creatures.

So I started reading some information about caring for them and such and Im seeing that most of them get pretty big, well, big considering they cant just roam free like a cat or a dog. So my first question is are there any that I could get without having to make a giant terrarium to keep em in? Im talking something like a fish tank size, because most of the info Ive seen so far has said like a 3' square base and 4'-5' tall and thats not something I would get in an apartment.

How long do they live? I haven't found that yet, but that might just be my crappy searching skills.

A couple sites have said they were agressive creatures, does that mean to each other or just in general? Because I have to admit, I would like to take him out and let him crawl around, and show people who visit and such.

And lastly for now, does anyone have some good sites I can look at? The ones Ive found dont look very professional, like they look like something someone did for a class project or something. I dont know, this might be my searching again.

So, in conclusion:
Is there a species that doesnt get so large i have to get a giant terrarium for it?
How long does the typical chameleon live?
When the sites say aggressive, what do they mean?
Any sites I could check out?

(If there isnt a smaller one then this is more just ideas for when I try to get one in a couple years when I have a house or atleast someplace more permanent.)


Thanks for all your help!

Lardalish on

Posts

  • meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I have had 2 chameleons.
    A female Veiled and a male Jackson's. They both lived about 16 months or so. The female was so docile. She could be left to wander free anywhere in my Apt. The male snapped at me anythime I put my hand in the cage. I used a 30 gallon terrarium and it worked perfectly. Give them lots of plants to crawl around and they will be fine.

    The worst thing about them is their diet. I absolutely hate crickets and having them in my Apt. sucked. Go find a good local pet shop and ask them about them.

    meeker on
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I worked at a pet store for several months back in high school, they carried several different lizards. My favorite was the Fat Tailed Gecko. I actually found the regular geckos kind of creepy, the way they'd skitter around at high speed in their terrarium. The fat tailed gecko we had was much more docile, which is apparently common for that breed. Might be a good alternative if the potential aggressiveness of chameleons is a problem for you. The one we had in the store actually had two spots on its tail that looked almost exactly like eyes; from a distance, it was hard to tell which end was which! It was the only lizard I saw in the store that actually liked being handled, and was quite content to sit on someone's arm or shoulder. That may have been an exceptionally docile example, though, so YMMV.

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  • TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Everything I've ever read about chameleons say that they're super-hard to take care of, really finicky about heat and humidity, and generally not for the beginner. Plus, you shouldn't be getting a pet where you have to skimp on cage space; it's not fair to the animal. If you want to get into herpetology, start out with something smaller and easier to keep.

    Trowizilla on
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    My friend had a king snake or a corn snake... whichever one won't kill you... that thing was awesome and fairly easy to manage.

    No legs though, so that might not be for you.

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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I agree with Trowizilla. When you're looking at an animal and thinking, "Could I get away with a smaller habitat than recommended?" that's usually time to look for a different animal.

    There are a lot of very neat, hardy, smaller reptiles. If you want a lizard that can change color, I suggest checking out the Green Anole. You can get by with a smaller habitat with them. There will be time to upgrade to a chameleon later when you get a bigger place.

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  • LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I wasn't looking to skimp on the habitat, its more like, someone who likes dogs, but doesnt have the space for a great dane, so instead they get a toy poodle or something. I have no intention of trying to get away with a smaller sace, but if there is a smaller species of chameleon then that would work.

    I havent seen anything saying that they were hard to take care of, I did see humidity and temp requirements, but I just figured that would be pretty easy to keep up with a heat lamp and a mister. Maybe it isnt?


    If they truely are hard to care for then I might look into something easier to manage. Id rather not get he Anole simply because I live in NC and I see the things everywhere. Though the gecko might be a better option.

    Lardalish on
  • Tw4winTw4win Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I might be wrong but I think chameleons are also lizards that require some sort of dripping water or mist in their habitat. I don't think they will drink from bowl, etc... so you need to have some sort of moving water source.

    I recently bought an iguana and he/she's a cool pet but it requires a lot of work to socialize it and a lot of space (which I have...250 Gallon habitat to start).

    Tw4win on
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