Chameleon: quick-change artist of the animal world

Why does the chameleon like to change its color from time to time? Of course, to disguise yourself. To protect yourself from dangerous enemies. No claim is wrong, but according to new knowledge, these animals change color for completely different reasons. Image: Shutterstock / Mark Bridger

Only the smart come into the garden

Everyone knows it, including the chameleon, of course: the law of the jungle applies out there. Only the strongest and most adapted representatives survive. And what better way to assert yourself than to adapt to your immediate surroundings at the push of a button. The chameleon can. But behind the why and why, according to the latest findings from Australian biologists, there are primarily other reasons than previously thought.

Depending on your mood: Why chameleons change color

Certainly, arguments are annoying and potentially dangerous. So why not change color in such situations and make yourself as thin as possible? The explanation for the changeability of the chameleon always originated here among scientists. But the most prominent trigger is the competition with others. There really is no lack of the necessary symbolism here. If there are winners and losers among two male chameleons after a fight, the champion shines in colorful complacency, while the master of hearts puts on an earth-colored, mouse-gray mourning dress.

Yes he can! But how?

The chameleon has three different cell types in the skin. The top layer is characterized by yellow and red dyes, while on the floor below there is a layer of colorless crystals that appear blue due to light reflection. The third factor is melanin-containing cells, which in turn can make other colors appear darker or lighter. Ultimately, it is the combination of different basic tones that allows the chameleon to change colors. Hopefully as a winner.

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