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Creation 21(1):35, December 1998

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Chameleons

Anne97432 (GFDL) via wikimedia16416-chameleon2

by Stacia McKeever

Chameleons are fascinating creatures which show remarkable evidences of God’s design. But more than that, the chameleon has an important lesson to teach us about living as a Christian.

What’s a chameleon?

Some chameleons, such as this one in the picture, are called Veiled Chameleons. They have what is called a ‘casque’—it’s the thing that looks like a helmet—on its head. Scientists don’t know exactly what purpose it serves, although some think that it could be used to cool the chameleon. Since we know God created it, though, we can be sure it isn’t there by accident!

One interesting feature of chameleons is their eyes. Our eyes don’t have the natural ability to move independently of each other. The eyes of this lizard can! For example, while one eye focuses straight ahead, the other eye can look to the side. The design of our eyes helps us to see things in 3-D. This crazy creature can see three dimensions only if it focuses both its eyes on the same spot at the same time.

The chameleon’s tongue is an intriguing instrument. It’s very long—sometimes even longer than the animal itself! It’s also very fast. Faster than you can see, the chameleon shoots its tongue out, hits the intended target very accurately, traps the target with the sticky surface of its tongue, and brings the food back to its mouth. Wow! That’s a lot to do in just a split second!

Shantanu Kuveskar (CC BY-SA 4.0) via wikimedia16416-chameleon1

Probably the most well-known feature of the chameleon is its ability to change its body colour to match the surroundings. The main colours that it works with are green, yellow and grey, although it varies shades within these colour groups. This unique ability enables it to blend in with its surroundings, hiding it from those it doesn’t want to be seen by.

Are you a chameleon?

Just like chameleons blend in with their surroundings so they won’t be noticed, some Christians blend in with the people they hang out with because they’re afraid to be different. They’re afraid people will make fun of them for believing in the One True Creator-God. Jesus warns against living like this. He said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Although it’s fun to watch the chameleon change colours and blend in with the background, as Christians, we need to stand out by living our lives so others will know we’re followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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