Many people believe that chameleons change color to blend with the surrounding environment. In fact, there are other functions which are not known. What is it?
The ability to change color or natural camouflage in chameleons make these animals are able to cope and adapt to some conditions. But actually, the main function of this color change is, to warn his neighbors of the existence of dangers that lurk.
Most of the chameleon, and several species of anole and gecko lizards capable of changing the color of their skin at some point. It is estimated there are more than 160 species of chameleons in the world.
However, not all chameleons are able to change the pattern to be brilliant. Many species of chameleon, such as the Namaqua and Brygoo can only be changed from brown or gray to green and back again.
Chameleons change color pattern in the coverage that you have on species that have evolved. This change includes all colors, ranging from sea blue to pale pink.
In fact, sometimes there are a few chameleons that can change color to be patterned stripes and dots. Color changes in some other chameleon species restricted to certain colors, like red, yellow and green.
Lizards are able to change color has a transparent colored outer shell and several layers of skin underneath. These layers contain cells which are closely related to each other, called chromatophores.
This layer reflects light and filled with natural pigments melamine. When lizards experiencing changes in body temperature, mood or stress level, certain neurotransmitter signals in the cell chromatophores to contract and stretch.
The speed of lizards change color also varies. However, this color change is “Under the right conditions and lasted for several seconds,” said the head of the biology faculty of the University of Texas Jonathan A. Campbell and researchers Herpetology or study amphibians and reptiles.
“Sometimes, when the environmental temperature changes occur very slowly, the chameleon color change also will be more slow.” For example, when the sun rises after a cold night, normal chromatophores brown chameleon who will stretch.
This stretch will make the skin more chameleon has a dark brown color that is more solid that can absorb light and warm up these lizards. If the lizard feels the heat after ‘bask’ in the midday sun, dark chromatophores this animal will contract.
As a result, the chameleon skin brown pigment will fade and make the chameleon has a brighter color to reflect sunlight on the skin. The color change is also not merely to adapt to the environment.
This color change also has the function to be one way of communicating this animal. Males in some species of chameleon will change color when you’re getting ready to fight, said Campbell.
For example, when the panther chameleon who usually have blue or green with white horizontal lines become angry or feel threatened, this animal red chromatophores will stretch fully.
This will hinder the green and blue color on the skin layers underneath. Bright red color on the chameleon chameleon serves as a warning to others to stay away from him.
Chameleon also use color to broadcast the ‘availability’ sexual. Male panther chameleon will find their partner by showing off a colorful mix of blue, green, orange, yellow, red and white to appeal to female chameleon.
Female panther chameleons are generally light brown with pink or coral accent changed to dark brown or black striped orange when you’re pregnant. These color changes in order to send a signal to males that females are not interested in mating.