• Question: How and why do chameleons colour?

    Asked by Deeps 2005 to Chris, Hayley, Jimi on 17 Mar 2016.
    • Photo: Jimi Wills

      Jimi Wills answered on 17 Mar 2016:

      Chameleons change colour for three main reasons:

      1) camouflage
      2) temperature control and
      3) social communication.

      They do this by two mechanisms:

      1) changing pigments in the skin
      2) changing the pattern of special crystals in the skin that absorb or reflect different colours of light

      The second way is a recent discovery.

    • Photo: Hayley Moulding

      Hayley Moulding answered on 17 Mar 2016:

      Fun fact, it is all about how the chameleon feels! The changing of colour is like an emotional response. That is really fun isn’t it! What is cool is that it changes colour by changes its pigments when the emotion changes.