Chameleons Do Not Change Color to Match Their Background
Terms You Will Learn
A chameleon is a type of lizard whose skin can change color. If a chameleon’s skin color is similar to the color of its environment (surroundings) it will blend in with the environment and be difficult to see. Blending in with ones environment is called camouflage.
Being camouflaged helps a chameleon hide from its predators (organisms that want to kill and eat it.)
While incorrect, some people think that chameleons have control over their skin color, and can change to any color.
Chameleons do not have the ability to recognize the colors in their environment, nor can they make a decision to change their skin color.
The skin of a chameleon changes colors in response to different stimuli (Internal or external things that directly influences the activity of a living organism or one of its parts, such as a chameleon’s skin color.
Stimuli that can result in changing a chameleon’s skin color, include fear, anger, mating, health, and external temperature and light.
The skin of chameleons can change colors, and different chameleon species are able to change to different colors which can include pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, light blue, yellow, turquoise and purple. But —Each chameleon species has a specific color range of skin colors.