Color Change Myth Unleashed
Chameleons do NOT use their ability of active color change to "blend" with their environment
HOW IT WORKS:￼
Chameleons primarily use their ability to actively change colors for the following mechanisms:
1. Intraspecific communication
Colors and patterns are the language of chameleons, due to the fact the vision is their primary sense, they can express excitement, rivalry, surrender, gravidity, submission, receptivity, etc.
2. Interspecific recognition
Females tell based on colors and patterns the belonging to the same/different species of the approaching male
Light colors reflect the sun IR beams and cool down the bodies, dark colors foster heat intake.
Chameleons adapt very rarely by their color and pattern to the environment, there are only a few documented cases when this happens (eg. in the genus Rhampholeon), but they are rather an exception and not a rule.
The fact that that chameleons often look similar to their environment, is not the result of an active color change, but a long-term evolutionary adaptation to the environment in which they live and in which it is beneficial for them to be "invisible".