Y is for Yemeni Vieled Chameleon

You don’t know what a Yemeni veiled chameleon is? That’s ok, we’ll learn together. According to the Smithsonian Handbooks guide to Reptiles and Amphibians, the Yemeni veiled chameleon is a small, extremely laterally compressed species of chameleon native to the humid southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.


The truth is, I love reptiles. I love all the weird exotic pets you can think of: lizards, snakes, tarantulas, giant bugs, squawking parrots, all of them. Lizards especially have turned out to be my ideal pet due to their relatively relaxed nature, being noiseless and more or less odorless, and most of the time completely open to hanging out with a human, so long as that human is 1) warm, 2) not moving and 3) watching something interesting on TV. Before I moved to Japan I had a pair of bearded dragons which were about the most loving pets I’ve ever had, dogs included.

See, the thing about furry pets is that they’re very demanding. Dogs need constant attention or they go mental. Cats will suffocate you if you forget their seventh meal of the day, and rodents reconcile their existential crises by making as much goddamn noise as possible with four teeth and a metal cage.

But lizards are remarkably chill. They’ll tolerate human interaction but they don’t need it. Forget to feed your lizard? You’ll get a reproachful glare, but they’re not going to raise the dead over it. Want some time to sleep in on the weekends? No problem, they’re all for sleeping seventeen hours a day. And the best part of all is that they’re always the right temperature. If it’s a hot day, nothing feels better than a cold lizard belly on your chest. And in the winter? Coming home to a heat lamp warmed reptile is just the thing for those chilly fingers.

So, now that I’ve told you my ideal pet, how’s about you tell me yours?

reptiles and amphibians


22 thoughts on “Y is for Yemeni Vieled Chameleon

  1. I used to work in the reptile section at Bristol Zoo. I’d had little experience of reptiles until then, but I learned so much there. Chameleons were one of my favourites. Gentle, delicate creatures. The best was the 60+years old giant tortoise, Biggy Smalls. He loved a cuddle. I’d sit on the ground and he’d climb on my lap, crushing me under his weight and size. Then he’d stretch his neck out for a long chin rub. The visitors would laugh and be amazed that he was so cuddly. I really missed him when I left Bristol.

    TD Harvey
    A to Z participant

  2. When I clicked on your link today your header made me start! But it’s beautiful – to look at, but I couldn’t be convinced by a lizard as a pet. We used to have cats and I rather enjoyed their disdainful attitude. We had one very clever one and one totally thick one, both amusing in ways they couldn’t possibly have known. Can you differentiate one lizard personality from another? I don’t know.

    • Oh yes! At least bearded dragons have very distinct personalities. My little boy was hyperactive and more inclined to jump everywhere he went than walked. He wouldn’t go to bed if the TV was still on, and was the one who most liked a good cuddle. My girl, on the other hand was oh so lazy. She wouldn’t move all day if I let her. Wedging her face between two pillows was considered well enough hidden for her. And she HATED American Idol.

  3. I like cats. Mine are insane, but not in a way that makes them dangerous. 🙂 (Harmony has conversations with her “mirror cat,” Flo. Ashley thinks she’s a puppy, and she loves to play fetch with sticks.)

      • Ashley started playing fetch with a catnip pompom that she’d drop in my tea (well, it certainly got my attention!), but after a while she discovered straws, paint brushes, and pencils, and has never looked back. It’s the fact that Ashley prefers sticks that I find odd. My brother used to have a cat who loved to play fetch with crumpled paper. When she wanted to play, she’d walk around with the paper wad in her mouth, meowing around it — really funny.

  4. The idea of bearded dragons as pets is fascinating. I never considered reptiles as good pets before. All those reasons are why I don’t have either a dog or cat. And rodents, forgot those.

    • The bearded dragons are the most relaxed pet I’ve ever raised. All they want to do is it on their rock and eat bugs, but they’ll interact with humans too, if you want them too. They’re kind of like little scaly stoners. They don’t want to do nothing but sit around all day watching TV and snacking. 😛

  5. We had lizards and snakes along with our cats and dogs, thanks to our son. The iguana loved to be stroked and our python liked to cuddle. All animals recognize affection! Loved this post!

    • They were truly great pets. I really miss them. I gave up my snake and my rabbit when I moved out of my dad’s house, but I was adamant that I keep my lizards.

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