The Chameleon has zygodactylous feet. Zygo means paired, joined, or fused, and dactyl means digit (finger or toe). Scientists would like a more appropriate word, because the chameleon does not have true zygodactylous feet, like the parrot.
It has five toes on each foot. The toes are grouped into two fascicles (a bundle of structures).
Two or three toes in each fascicle are fused together, which makes its feet look like tongs (the tongs people use in the kitchen to pick up food).
On the front feet, the outer (lateral) group contains two toes, whereas the inner (medial) group contains three toes.
On the back feet, the arrangement is reversed – the inner (medial) group contains two toes, whereas the outer (lateral) group contains three toes.
Each toe has a sharp claw.
Its feet are highly adapted to arboreal locomotion – climbing in trees. It can grip narrow or rough branches.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM