The truth about chameleons

Everyone knows that chameleons can change colour But most of us have entirely the wrong idea about why they do it

The truth about chameleons

Reputation that chameleons have is that they can change their colors to blend in with their surroundings. However the reality is that they do so sometimes for camouflage purpose but changing color is much more often about sex and mating with other chameleons. They also have cool eyes and fast tongues. One chameleon even spends more time inside the egg than outside of it

For most chameleons changing colour is all about obtaining a mate

The truth about chameleons

Everyone knows chameleons can change color but why do they do it? Suppose you were given these three options:a- to blend in with their surroundings. b- to get a mate. Or c- To impress humans. For most chameleons changing colour is all about obtaining a mate. I think most people would instinctively lump for the camouflage option But the real answer is b- It is not a hard and fast rule there is some evidence that the colourful antics of chameleons can be a disguise For instance. The dwarf chameleon Bradypodion taeniabronchum seems to match its surroundings more closely when confronted with a predator with better colour vision.

In their natural environment most chameleons blend in with their surroundings pretty well (says ecologist Kristopher Karsten of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks). A chameleon in the midst of a colour change probably is not so much acting shifty as it is sexually aroused. So when they change colour they tend to make themselves more conspicuous. They get away from the cryptic (says Karsten). Competing males will often battle it out with a colour change face off Both males and females will try to impress with a dermal flush. So when we use the word (chameleon) to describe people who are a bit fickle or changeable we are getting it wrong. A chameleon in the midst of a colour change probably is not so much acting shifty as it is sexually aroused.


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