Cryptic walking of chameleons

Chameleons are known to spontaneously perform jerky movements when walking. This jaggered walking behaviour has been assumed to be mimicking the movement of vegetation, therefore considered a form of motion masquerade, whereby the chameleons’ movement resembles a windblown plant. However there has been no published literature investigating the cryptic behaviour of the chameleons walk. Using a single female veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) as a case study, we determined that visual (moving plant stimulus) and tactile (wind on animal stimulus) cues alone are sufficient to trigger the behaviour. We also quantified the different walking behaviours to identify putative motion signatures.