Chameleon Running: How Fast Can Chameleons Run?

  • By: Reptilia Planet
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Chameleons are known for their lizard-like appearance with the ability to change color, move between trees and blend into nature. But did you know they can also run incredibly fast?

This speed of a chameleon is achieved through their specially adapted feet designed not only for gripping onto tree branches but for running too!

Although Chameleons are not the fastest reptiles on the planet they can still run and reach a top speed of 21 miles per hour on a flat surface!

These creatures are incredibly agile and jump over obstacles when running at high speed they can even change direction with ease thanks to their long tail that also gives them balance when running at high speed.

How Fast Can Baby Chameleons Run?

The velocity at which a baby chameleon can run is slower than that of an adult and this is because their muscles have not yet developed to the same extent.

The maximum speed that can be reached by a baby chameleon is around 5 to 10 miles per hour, however, this can vary depending on the size. They will usually reach this speed when in danger or trying to escape predators!

Like the adults baby chameleons will use their tails to give them balance and also help them change direction more quickly when being chased.

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Why Do Chameleons Run Fast?

If you have ever seen a chameleon running, your find that it’s hard to catch up with them! But why do they run so fast? There are a few different reasons why this is.

  • Run From Predators: Chameleons can be hunted by many different types of creatures in their habitat which is why they need to be able to quickly get away from them when necessary. They may not always succeed but at least they try!
  • Explore Their Surroundings: It’s believed that chameleons are very inquisitive animals and love to explore their surroundings and when they do this they will run so they can get round faster.
  • They can escape: Like many animals, in captivity chameleons will always run and try to escape when let out of their cage. They are not considered dangerous but will use their speed to try to get away so make sure your ready.

Chameleon Tongue Speed

The most fascinating thing about a chameleon is its tongue. It can move at speeds from 0 to 60 in 100th of a second so it’s no wonder that these reptiles are able to catch their prey.

A favorite food of chameleons are (insects), and chasing down fast-moving insects has been a difficult task!

The tongues of chameleon are about one and a half times as long as the length of its head and body combined together. They shoot out at incredible speeds which allow them to capture insects.

Their tongue is elastic and very sticky that can pack up to 14,00 watts of power per kilo with each strike. It’s not only the speed at which this little animal darts its tongue but also how far it goes and what kind of force is behind these strikes!

Can You Train Chameleons To Run Fast?

Chameleons enjoy running but training them is not really necessary – it’s simply in their nature! But you will find your pet chameleon much happier if he has plenty of space and opportunity to climb trees and explore his surroundings.

This keeps him stimulated which helps keep his mind active too. If possible let him out into an area where there are lots of leaves so he can practice moving around at high speeds whenever he likes.

Should You Let Your Chameleon Run Outside?

There is a very good chance if you let your chameleon outside they will try to escape and run off never to be seen again, especially if they are a baby.

If you want to let your chameleon run outside for exercise then be sure that the area is secure and free from any predators – this way he will not come to harm.

Chameleon species are usually kept indoors, but if you can provide them with the right conditions they will thrive. The best way to allow your pet to explore is by putting him into an outside enclosure where he can get fresh air and exercise.

You should always monitor your chameleon while outside in case he decides to escape his cage and run off! A good rule of thumb for knowing how much room a chameleon needs is about three times as long as its tail and two times taller than its body width (length).

This should be made up mostly of trees and other plants which can be used to climb to keep your chameleon active.


So now you know how fast they can run and why they run so fast. Just Make sure you provide a safe and secure area for your pet chameleon to explore when outside, or else he may escape!

Just remember the safety of your chameleon is a top priority and you should never let him out alone. If they see a chance to bolt they will take it – so be sure to be on your tows.

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