Chamelon trio at Taronga Zoo

All photos: Taronga Zoo

Australia's Taronga Zoo is celebrating the arrival of 20 veiled chameleon babies that have hatched from three different egg clutches over the past couple of weeks. The little green nuggets are off-the-charts adorable, especially in these photos, which demonstrate their scale compared to human fingers, pencils and more.

The zoo's reptile supervisor, Michael McFadden, explains that even though they aren't endangered, veiled chameleons are a visually striking species that plays "an important educational role in helping us to get people excited about reptiles and reptile conservation."

Endemic to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, this chameleon species typically appears green or brown at rest, though they are capable of changing colors if they are courting a mate or feeling threatened.

"You'll see shades of green, yellow, aqua and even very dark brown or black depending on their temperature, mood and reproductive behavior," McFadden explains. "However, they don't change color to match a particular background like you see in cartoons."

These newborn chameleons have about a year of maturing to do until they are capable of displaying their brilliant color palettes.

Continue below for more photos of these charming little green babies:

Chamelon at Taronga Zoo on pencil
Chamelon on index finger at Taronga Zoo
Chamelon duo at Taronga Zoo
Chamelon newborn at Taronga Zoo
Chamelon at Taronga Zoo on person's shirt
Chamelons at Taronga Zoo on human wrist
Chamelon cuddling on finger at Taronga Zoo
Woman holding chamelon at Taronga Zoo
* * *
Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.