Why Do Chameleon Camouflage?

Why do chameleon camouflage? People are amazed by how well chameleon camouflage with their surrounding. These lizards can change and blend to almost any color imaginable.  They can blend into their surrounding with their entire body or just part of their body.  Chameleon can even change color on the move! As they walk from one area to another area, their body will instantly change from one color to the next color with a blink of the eye.  So the question that most people ask is- why do chameleon camouflage?

The top reason why chameleons camouflage is because they need to blend into their environment to escape predators and other dangers.  Other reason could be for hunting, regulating their body temperature, and mating.   


Chameleon camouflage to hide themselves from predator such as birds, snakes and even other lizards.  Smaller and younger chameleon are more vulnerable to becoming a prey so they have to learn to change their skin color quickly.  Chameleons learn to blend with their surrounding right when they are born.


Another reason for using camouflage is to hunt for prey.  Most chameleons are slow moving lizards and prefer to stay in one place and wait for a prey to come by.  For this reason, they need a way to hide themselves from preys.  For chameleon, that are capable of changing their skin color to blend in with their surrounding.



The last and a lesser-known reason is to regulate their body temperature.  Like any other reptiles, chameleon are cold-blooded.  This means that their body can’t regulate the temperature on their own.  With warm-blooded animals, body temperature is regulated within the body.  For chameleons, their body temperature is regulated by the temperature surrounding them.  For this reason, they depend on the sun and other heat source to keep their body at optimal level.

Dark colors absorb light, and therefore provide heat.  On the other hand, light colors reflect it.  Chameleons know this and they use their skin color like a thermostat to regulate their body temperature.

When a chameleon is cold and needs to warm the body, he will deepen his color to a darker shade such as pine green or brown.  This dark color will absorb the light and provide heat to warm the body.  When a chameleon needs to cool off, he will change his color to a lighter color such as mint green and yellow.

By being able to adapt to their environment, chameleons are able to survive nearly any where in the world.

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