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That Chromatic Critter on Our Campaign Banner

Did you notice the cute, colorful creature pictured on our summer campaign graphic? She’s a panther chameleon. We named her Prudence Chloe (it’s all about the alliteration, of course … Prudence Chloe, the panther chameleon).

Okay, that’s wrong. When I named her a week ago, I introduced her online but it was only a short while before Carol Steiger Stempel commented, “Beautiful, but your Prudence is a guy.”

Oops.

Now when I named her (er, him) I’d actually wondered if I might stumble into just such a signature scandal. After all, what do I know about panther chameleons? But Carol knew! When I asked her how she could tell, she wrote back, “Female panther chameleons are relatively drab.”

So, a guy it is.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to introduce you to … Pablo Christof, the panther chameleon!

With alliteration still in place, let me tell you something about my boy Pablo. You have to travel to Madagascar to meet a panther chameleon. The guys are typically about a foot and a half long, ladies maybe half their size (with tongues sometimes longer than their bodies). And as Carol correctly points out, the males are brightly colored while females are generally tan or brown. Colors vary by geographic location, but Pablo can also change pigmentation depending on the temperature, time of day, and his mood.

Pablo’s got five toes that are fused into a pair and a trio, with an additional claw between them to assist with climbing. His eyes are like gun turrets and can move independent of each other so he can watch you and me at the same time! When he wants (ie, when he spots lunch), he can focus both eyes together (which can also see the ultraviolet spectrum, so don’t try to hide there) on his way to using his very long and very fast tongue to snatch his prey.

Apart from hot dates, panther chameleons live in virtual isolation. When trying to impress a potential mate and a second suitor comes along, Pablo will change colors and inflate his body. While this rather artistic smackdown is usually enough to determine who gets the girl, panther chameleons will occasionally battle to the death to win their love.

If romantic duels don’t do him in, Pablo will probably live for seven or eight years. Prudence however, because of the strain that bearing pups puts on the girls, will only live for two to three years. I’ll leave it to you to decide which sex gets the better deal.

And that’s everything I know about panther chameleons.

Why is Pablo part of our current campaign? Because every kid should get to enjoy a summer filled with vibrant hues, inflatable water toys, and even a reptile or two. The Jonah Maccabee Foundation thinks kids and summer go hand in hand. With your help, we’ll try to make sure a bunch more get to do just that!

Billy


Pablo Christof, whose tie-dye coloring is what Jonah loved best, wants to remind you that our Summer Campaign 2018 will wind down in a week or so. 
Please make your gift at jonahmac.org.

2 Responses to “That Chromatic Critter on Our Campaign Banner”

  • Carol Stempel:

    Sorry for being a trouble-maker.
    They are amazing creatures.
    He is, what they call in the reptile trade, a screamer.

    • Billy:

      You are so very much NOT a trouble-maker, Carol. You made this posting far more fun that it otherwise would have been. Thanks!

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