Picture of the Day :D
According to photographer Yathin S Krishnappa, this is a Namaqua chameleon in threat display in the Namib desert in Namibia. The chameleon was in the middle of a highway and was approached to be moved off the road. The chameleon then changed its color to black and displayed its brightly colored mouth as a threat display.
While I’m sure the display can be threatening in certain situations, he still looks like a lizard giving a really big smile to me! 😀
The Namaqua chameleon (Chamaeleo namaquensis) is a ground living lizard found in the western desert regions of Namibia, South Africa and southern Angola. They are one of the largest chameleon species in southern Africa, reaching up to 25 inches (63.5 cm) in length. [source]
The chameleon has evolved several adaptations to cope with desert conditions; they excrete salt from nasal glands to conserve water, and dig holes to aid in thermoregulation. They also use their ability to change colour to aid in controlling temperature, becoming black in the cooler morning to absorb heat more efficiently, then a lighter grey color to reflect light during the heat of the day. [source]