Their feelings are conveyed through vibrant display of color schemes, which can be quite entertaining for the human eye. Because the phenomenon is obliviously intriguing, a study was conducted to explain how these amazing reptiles associate emotions with colors.
There have been arguments regarding the male chameleon’s usage of colors to try to find a mate or competing with other males in order to woo females.
For another perspective, some say that they use their ability to change colors for defense against birds that prey on them. They develop camouflage as a prey adaptation.
In the hopes of putting an end to these debates, Devi Stuart-Fox, a zoologist from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Adnan Moussalli, a biologist from the University of KwaZulu Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, went on an experiment where they observed 21 species of South African dwarf chameleons.
A spectrometer was used to calculate the patterns each particular species was able to create. The data from the apparatus was then used to compare the relationship of the color schemes and the chameleons’ synthetic habitat.
To further understand how effective the colors are to predators like birds, they used computer programs that imitate the eyes of many animal species.
The results were rather astonishing. They seemed to blend in with their surroundings effectively. Radiating their vibrant hues was a huge risk factor since they leave themselves out in the open.
To end all the debate, it was proven that based on evidence, chameleons tend to shift colors primarily for communication, says behavioral ecologist Roger Hanlon from Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
He reiterates that there has been no study that supports the claim that their color-shifting ability provides camouflage.
To wrap things up, the research shows that camouflage is not the real reason they change colors but to communicate with each other.