How Does a Chameleon Change Colors?

Chameleons are lizards known for their ability to change colors.

chameleon changing colors

But contrary to popular belief, the chameleon does not change its color to match its background. It changes as a result of its mood, the temperature, or light conditions.

Most chameleons have brown or green as their main color, but they can turn to an off-white, yellow, or light green. When they are cold, their color is lighter than when they are warm.

The chameleon’s skin has several layers, with different color pigment cells in each layer. The inner layer has black pigment cells.

The chameleon’s nerves control the expansion and contraction of the color cells. When the black cells either move closer to or farther from the skin surface, they blend with, blot out, or intensify other cells.

This causes the chameleon’s color to change.

The chameleon’s tongue, which always hits its prey, can be extended more than twice the length of the chameleon’s body.