Chameleon Changing Color - Must Watch

Published: Apr 29, 2017 14:01

Chamaeleons are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of Old World lizards with more than 200 species. These species come in a range of colors, and many species have the ability to change color. Chameleons' eyes are independently mobile, but in aiming at a prey item, they focus forward in coordination, affording the animal stereoscopic vision. Chameleons are adapted for climbing and visual hunting. They live in warm habitats that range from rain forest to desert conditions.

Some chameleon species are able to change their skin coloration. Different chameleon species are able to vary their coloration and pattern through combinations of pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, light blue, yellow, turquoise, and purple. Chameleon skin has a superficial layer which contains pigments, and under the layer are cells with guanine crystals. Chameleons change color by changing the space between the guanine crystals, which changes the wavelength of light reflected off the crystals which changes the color of the skin.

Color change in chameleons has functions in camouflage, but most commonly in social signaling and in reactions to temperature and other conditions. The relative importance of these functions varies with the circumstances, as well as the species. Color change signals a chameleon's physiological condition and intentions to other chameleons. Chameleons tend to show brighter colors when displaying aggressively to other chameleons, and darker colors when they submit or "give up".