The incredible moment a chameleon gives birth to 26 adorable fingernail-sized babies on her breeder’s hand

Posted by on November 29, 2017

Mr. Kleyn has kindly agreed to address Gardening at Leisure in the New Year.  We can look forward to a most interesting talk.

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  • A breeder in South Africa shared a video of the moment on YouTube
  • A Knysna Dwarf chameleon can be seen perching on his hand while giving birth
  • The breeder says the chameleon gave birth on his hand, away from hungry males
  • Male chameleons can be ferocious, and often try to eat the babies

A chameleon breeder in South Africa has shared an incredible video showing the moment a female chameleon gave birth to her tiny babies on his hand.

The tiny lizards, which are just a centimetre long, can be seen calmly crawling down Aldo Kleyn’s palm just seconds after their mother has given birth.

These Knysna Dwarf chameleon babies form part of a giant litter of 26 lizards – with their mum taking a grand total of just one hour and 13 minutes to pop them all out.

A chameleon breeder in South Africa has shared an incredible video showing the moment a female chameleon gave birth to her tiny babies on his hand

WHY DID SHE GIVE BIRTH ON HIS HAND?

Mr Kleyn, says the female chameleon was keen to give birth on his hand, away from hungry males.

He said: ‘When the females give birth, the males will try to eat some of the young ones. They are quite ferocious.

‘This female was reaching out to me and I realised she didn’t want to give birth on the tree with the males.

‘To begin with I put her on another plant and she gave birth to three babies, but she wanted to get back on my hand.’

Mr Kleyn, 54, says the female chameleon was keen to give birth on his hand, away from hungry males.

He said: ‘I was completely blown away. Lots of people have been asking me questions about the video and asking why did I have her giving birth on my hand and not on a plant.

‘When the females give birth, the males will try to eat some of the young ones. They are quite ferocious.

‘This female was reaching out to me and I realised she didn’t want to give birth on the tree with the males.

‘To begin with I put her on another plant and she gave birth to three babies, but she wanted to get back on my hand.

‘It’s amazing to see that. The babies are perfectly formed when they come out. Some people have asked how does she feed them all, but the babies fend for themselves from the moment of birth.

Mr Kleyn, 54, says the female chameleon was keen to give birth on his hand, away from hungry males

Pictured is one of the tiny chameleons on the end of Mr Kleyn's finger

The tiny lizards, which are just a centimetre long, can be seen calmly crawling down Aldo Kleyn's palm just seconds after their mother has given birth

The tiny lizards, which are just a centimetre long, can be seen calmly crawling down Aldo Kleyn’s palm just seconds after their mother has given birth

‘I’m not sure what kind of pain she would have experienced. The females have babies once a year.’

Mr Kleyn says he has a special incubator set aside for the babies from the moment they are born.

The babies can shoot out their famous tongues, which he says are three times the length of the chameleon’s body, and feed on fruit and tiny flies within minutes after birth.

The babies can shoot out their famous tongues, which are three times the length of the chameleon's body, and feed on fruit and tiny flies within minutes after birth

The babies can shoot out their famous tongues, which are three times the length of the chameleon’s body, and feed on fruit and tiny flies within minutes after birth

Mr Kleyn says he has bred and cared for chameleons ever since he witnessed a chameleon being crushed by a vehicle 12 years ago

Mr Kleyn says he has bred and cared for chameleons ever since he witnessed a chameleon being crushed by a vehicle 12 years ago

CHAMELEON’S BALLISTIC TONGUE

Researchers at the University of Oxford focusing on how the chameleon strikes out at its lunch have broken the process into the three parts.

The chameleon’s tongue is made up of the sticky pad at the end, accelerator muscles which launch it, and the retractor muscles – with the structure coiled around a small horn of bone in the mouth called the hyoid, like a sock.

In the resting state, the concentric circles of muscle are coiled around the hyoid, on top of layers of elastic collagen tissue called the intralingual sheaths. When the accelerator muscles contract, the tongue is launched off the bone.

According to the team, the whole firing mechanism involves the fine balance between how the sheaths and muscles are organised, how collagen fibres are orientated, and the mechanics of the contraction and extension of the tongue itself.

Their mathematical modelling revealed that tweaking the angle of the fibres, or the width of the sheaths can alter the force of the firing mechanism.

Mr Kleyn said: ‘I’d say within three minutes they can start feeding. They are very fragile for the first month especially. You have to be really careful with them.

‘When they are born they are a black-brown colour, then they are a beige colour for five to six months.

‘From six or seven months, they show they can change colour. Then you start to see shots of green, a little bit of orange. They get their full colour at about a year.’

Mr Kleyn says he has bred and cared for chameleons ever since he witnessed a chameleon being crushed by a vehicle 12 years ago.

The quirky lizards live in trees at his home – with one male able to partner with up to 100 females at a time.

The birth of this particularly large litter holds a special meaning for Mr Kleyn, who lost his home in the devastating fires that hit Kynsna in the Cape Storm in June this year.

The tragedy took scores of his beloved chameleons who were unable to be rescued from the flames.

Mr Kleyn said: ‘I still wake up and think about them in the flames, I feel terrible about it. I managed to rescue one of the males, he had been with me for nine years.

Mr Kleyn says he has a special incubator set aside for the babies from the moment they are born

Pictured are the Knysna chameleon babies in Mr Kleyn's garden
Mr Kleyn said: 'You have to really take care of them 24/7. It's a full-time job'
The quirky lizards live in trees at Mr Kleyn’s home – with one male able to partner with up to 100 females at a time

‘It was too dangerous to save them all because we had to get out.

‘With this one having so many babies, I must have done something right. I was really surprised to see so many.

‘You have to really take care of them 24/7. It’s a full-time job.’

Mr Kleyn says these little babies (one pictured on its mother's back) are destined for a life in the wild, hidden away from humans

Mr Kleyn says these little babies (one pictured on its mother’s back) are destined for a life in the wild, hidden away from humans

Mr Kleyn said: 'When the females give birth, the males will try to eat some of the young ones. They are quite ferocious'

And Mr Kleyn says these little babies are destined for a life in the wild, hidden away from humans.

Mr Kleyn said: ‘I take them out into the forest when they are old enough and set them free. So far I have released 360 chameleons that I’ve bred out into the forest.

‘I do it with a great passion and love. I’m happy that people can learn about them. I’ve had people get in touch with me to say they have found one and asking what to do.

‘It’s just a great thing to make people more aware about them and of how to take care of them. It’s a really good feeling.’

Mr Kleyn said: 'This female was reaching out to me and I realised she didn't want to give birth on the tree with the males'

Mr Kleyn said: ‘This female was reaching out to me and I realised she didn’t want to give birth on the tree with the males’

Mr Kleyn said: 'I take them out into the forest when they are old enough and set them free. So far I have released 360 chameleons that I've bred out into the forest'

Mr Kleyn said: ‘I take them out into the forest when they are old enough and set them free. So far I have released 360 chameleons that I’ve bred out into the forest’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5124687/Chameleon-gives-birth-breeders-HAND.html#ixzz4znbfzUJR
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