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Pets Theme Unit
Life with a Chameleon



Life with a Chameleon
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.84

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    chromatophors, ever-changing, Francois, mealworms, wardrobe, exotic, survival, buffet, multicolored, extremely, eyesight, invest, rainfall, resort, variety, species
     content words:    Francois Martin


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Life with a Chameleon
By Colleen Messina
  

1     If you like animals and enjoy variety, there is no need to invest in an entire zoo. Just try a chameleon, and you will have a pet that changes all the time.
 
2     A chameleon could have been part of the cast of Madagascar since almost half of the world's species live on that island. More than 100 different species have been discovered. In addition to populating the island of Madagascar, many live in forests or grasslands in southern Europe and Africa. People like these exotic lizards because they are a lot of fun to watch. They have unique eyes, multicolored skin, and a long, long tongue.
 
3     Chameleons are reptiles. Their name means "earth lion," which comes from a combination of two Greek words. Francois Martin de Vitre discovered this strange little creature on a voyage to the Indies in 1602. He wrote, "Their legs are fairly high; their back, scaly up to the end of the tail; they appear to be wearing a helmet...They are extremely shy and change color when something comes close to them. They are always moving. Never do they close their eyes." His description sparked an interest in these weird lizards that has lasted for centuries.

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