Pet of the Day

September 4, 2000

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Balder, the Pet of the Day
Name: Balder
Age: Six months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Nosy Be Panther Chameleon
Home: Fremont, California, USA
   This is Balder. Balder was hatched in November, 1999 and is a Nosy Be Panther Chameleon. Shown here, he is six months old. Balder's parents come from the Nosy Be region of Madagascar. Panther Chameleons from this region are often spectacular shades of blue, as you see on Balder. Contrary to common belief, chameleons do not change color to blend into their surroundings. Chameleons will 'fire up' to show their emotions, however. They way that chameleons do blend is through their motions - if in a plant, they will sway in the wind to emulate leaves, which makes them difficult for their predators (and human owners!!!) to see. This photo was taken the morning after the very first time Balder ever had a female visitor. His wife, Maureen, should lay the eggs sometime in July (16-30 days after mating) and the babies will hatch 6-9 months after that. Balder likes to eat. He eats mostly crickets, but also enjoys silkworms, and likes to hang out in our garden (we watch him carefully) and eat spiders, flies, and anything else he can catch. His tongue reaches approximately 2.5 times his body length, so he makes a lot of suprise attacks on his prey. Balder will grow to, perhaps, 8-10" long, snout to vent, and will live about five years maximum, which is unfortunate. I wish they lived longer!

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