How do chameleons change color?



  • Chameleons belong to the kingdom Animalia and phylum Chordata.
  • They come under class Retilia, order Squamata and suborder Iguania.
  • Chameleons are known to live in warm habitat ranging from rainforest to the dessert conditions.
  • Chameleons are specially adapted for climbing and visual hunting.
  • Chameleons are known to have a variety of diet, such that a small chameleon generally eat insects, however larger species tends to eat lizard and young bird also.
  • Chameleons have a great range of sizes from the smallest up to 15 mm and the largest up to 68.5 cm measuring approximately.
  • Chameleons are characterized by the zygodactylous feet, swaying gait and horns on their brow and snout. Some bigger chameleons are also known to have a prehensile tail.
  • Zygodactylous is basically the arrangement of digits in birds and chameleons.

How does chameleon change color?

  • Some chameleons have the ability to change their skin color.
  • Different species of chameleons can have a change in color with change in pattern of their changing.
  • The colors can range from between pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, light blue, turquoise and purple.
  • Chameleon are able to change their skin color by changing the space between guanine crystal, which eventually causes the change in wavelength of reflected light causing a change in color visualization.
  • The layer under the skin of chameleon is made up of pigments, next to the pigments lies the guanine crystals responsible for the change of color in chameleon.
  • The excited chameleon tends to show bright colors whereas the lost out chameleon shows dull color.
  • This color changing mechanism can also help chameleon to be saved from its predator by bending up in the environment.
  • This color changing ability also helps chameleon to maintain their body temperature with the help of colors.

Fun Facts:

  1. Chameleons both eye can work independently with each eye having a view of 180 degree.
  2. Chameleons are known to have a very powerful tongue.
  3. Chameleons are found to have a limited period of life, they do not live longer.

Related Questions:

  1. What kind of habitat a chameleon lives in?
  2. Who all are the prey of chameleon?
  3. Where chameleon are known to live across the world?

True or False:

  1. Chameleons belong to the reptile phylum.
  2. Chameleon comes under phylum chordata.
  3. Chameleon has the ability to change their skin color.
  4. Chameleon can stay only in cold place.
  5. Chameleon eat mouse for their survival.

Objective Quiz:

  1. Chameleon belong to the Kingdom ______.
    1. Animalia.
    2. Chordata.
    3. Squamata.
    4. Reptilia.
  2. Chamaeleon can change their color from range of ______.
    1. Pink.
    2. Light blue.
    3. Orange.
    4. All of the above.
  3. Chameleon likes to stay in ______.
    1. Warn condition.
    2. Cool condition.
    3. Rainy place.
    4. All of the above.
  4. Chameleons are specially adapted for _____.
    1. Climbing.
    2. Visual hunting.
    3. Eating.
    4. Both 1) and 2).
  5. The color changing ability of chameleon helps it to _______.
    1. Escape from predator.
    2. Maintain body temperature.
    3. To show off its mood.
    4. All of the above.

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