What has two turrets that can move independently of each other, a catapult, specially modified feet for grasping, a prehensile tail and self-changing camouflage? If you guessed a chameleon, you’d be right.
The chameleon is an amazing animal.
The chameleon can see 360 degrees. It’s like having eyes in the back of your head. Their two eyes rotate independently from each other, seeing totally different things at once. If you have access to a couple of small telescopes or even small binoculars using one lens from each, try putting one up to each eye and aiming them in different directions. You’ll find that you will end up focusing through one eye and then the other. But the chameleon focuses through both eyes at the same time and is able to know what it is looking at. If you tried to do that, your brain would go crazy.
The chameleon has a tongue that can project up to two times his body length. He instantly calculates the projection path, launches his tongue like a catapult, snatches his target with an ingenious suction cup, and snaps his tongue back into place, ready for the next shot. Amazing! It all works together, just as if it was made that way.
How did this complex tongue mechanism evolve from a normal lizard-like tongue? This long tongue would prove useless to the chameleon without the catapult launching system and the mechanism that snaps it back into the specially designed pouch. Oh yeah, without the sticky tip, it wouldn’t be able to capture the insects and bring them back. Now realize that this small lizard is capable of accurately judging the distance to its intended target and then aim and project it’s long tongue right on target. Not only does every part of the tongue mechanism have to be in place, but the programming in its brain also has to be working in order for the chameleon to avoid starvation. How many chameleons starved to death during the years it took to evolve all of these features?
The chameleon’s skin can change color. Maybe he’s cold and wants to absorb a little more sunlight, so he gets darker. Or maybe he wants to cool off and not boil his blood. He turns lighter. Or maybe, he wants to catch the eye of a lady. That’s when he really puts on a show. Or maybe the chameleon is trying to avoid predators or hunting and wants to blend into its background? Exactly how does an animal go about evolving the ability to change its skin’s color and pattern?
Unlike most lizards, the chameleon has a prehensile tail. It uses its tail to grasp onto the branches and limbs to help hold it steady and still while waiting for an unsuspecting insect to get too close. The chameleon’s toes are specially modified for grasping the round branches of trees and bushes. These modified toes make it difficult for the chameleon to run like most other lizards.
The chameleon is truly a wonder of nature, but where did it come from? Did it evolve from other simpler creatures? Could small accidental changes over millions of years provide small benefits and then these changes make even more amazing features? Like a brain that can process images from two independently rotating eyes? Or a spring-loaded tongue that shots twice as far as its body?
The origin of such complexity is a mystery to evolutionary scientists, but it makes perfect sense if a Creator put all this complexity into the original DNA of the chameleon.
Chameleons are masterpieces of design, and the more we study them, the more complex they prove to be.