For example most Veiled Chameleons will change colours mainly using greens, yellows and dark greys or black. Going back to the point about whether or not Chameleons can change colour to match their surroundings, we did find a study from the New Scientist that shows some species of chameleons like the Smith’s Dwarf Chameleon can actually change their colours to almost match their surroundings when under threat from different species. In particular birds and snakes.
How does the Chameleon change its colours ?
On a physical level, colour changes in Chameleons involves skin cells. Chameleons have outer skin that is transparent, and there exist a number of skin layers having special cells known as chromatophores. When signals are received, these cells expand and contract. Since these cells contain colour pigments, expansion and contraction results in different skin colours (Clark, 2005). For instance, if red cells become fully expanded, then the skin colour of the Chameleon appears to be red. On the other hand, when green cells seem to expand, a Chameleon appears to be green.
1) Bates, Mary. “How Do Chameleons Change Colours?” Wired. Howard S. Mittman, 11 April 2014. Web
2) Clark, Rulon. “How do chameleons/anoles change colours?” Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR). Cornell University, 27 January 2005. Web
3) Raxworthy, Christopher. “A Truly Bizarre Lizard.” PBS. Public Broadcasting Service. Web
1) Main image supplied by Dan Fegent