Chameleon Facts about Camouflage

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Chameleon Facts

Chameleon facts about the real reasons chameleons change their colors

Everybody knows that chameleons change their color to camouflage themselves against a background. Well, that is completely wrong. Actually, chameleons use their color-changing abilities to regulate their body temperature or to communicate with other chameleons.

One of the chameleon facts is, that they cannot generate their own body heat, which makes it necessary to change their body color to absorb more or less heat as needed. They change into darker color to absorb more sunlight and switch to more pale color when they are too hot.

Moreover, bold color changes are chameleon’s means of communication. For example, males can become brighter to signal dominance. Females can signal their availability for mating by changing into certain colors. Moreover, owner of chameleons can learn to read their pets’ mood from color changes.

So how does these color changes actually work? Actually, the first layer of chameleon’s skin is transparent. Beneath it, there are several layers of skin containing special cells called chromatophores. These are filled with different kinds of pigment at different layers.

Normally, the pigment is stored in sacs inside the cells, but when the animal detects temperature or mood changes, its nervous system expands or contracts certain chromatophores, coloring the cell. By combining different amounts of chromatophores in different layers of skin, chameleons are able to create a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Make sure you check out this cool edited video, in which chameleon changes colors based on colors of the sunglasses (It’s not real):


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Andrew J. Blanche

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