As opposed to popular believes that chameleons always change their colors to blend into their environment, they actually don’t.
Although they change the color of their skin but it is not to blend into their environment but to maintain a favorable body temperature for them and do other stuff too.
Since chameleons can’t generate their own body heat, changing the color of their skin is a way to maintain a favorable body temperature. A cold chameleon may become dark to absorb more heat, whereas a hotter chameleon may turn pale to reflect the sun’s heat. Chameleons will also use bold color changes to communicate.
Their camouflage nature helps alert people around about danger and also reflects their emotions. For instance, Some types of male chameleons changes to mixed bright colors when they are trying to attract a nearby female chameleon and a dead chameleon turns to very dark black or brown colour.
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Also, Chameleons are born with special cells that have a colour or pigment in them. These cells lie in layers under the chameleon’s outer skin and it takes them 20 seconds to switch from this color to that color and back. And depending on the type of chameleon, they can leave from 2 years to 10 years.
Most importantly, Chameleons can bite human and their bites can be painful but not toxic or harmful. They are solitary animals with different personalities. Some welcome being handled, while others prefer not to be touched. Forced handling or unwanted handling can cause hissing and biting.
Photo Credit: Getty