Why do people assume ALL CHAMS change colors

DABRUTE

New Member
:D My co-worker just asked me....is it a certain type that change color to blend in? So do they or don't they?
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
They don't, this is a popular misconception. They change color to regulate their body temperature and communicate (show moods like warnings and as part of their mating ritual).
 

qdude46

Member
I once saw a Craigslist ad where a a very bad owner was selling a female flapnecked chameleon in a 5-10g tank with a plastic skull, night light, wood chips, and one small fake plastic plant. What was worse is that the person said, "she loves to he held and changes colors to match what she is on," the ad just sickened me.
 

VigilantSpearIII

New Member
Misinformation, not a common pet, television, etc. take your pick. Also, it wasn't until just a couple of years ago that people came to the conclusion that they dont change colors to match backgrounds...which is still slightly up in the air. I read a report that some chameleons may try to mimic their surrounding environment through color. I personally believe that chameleons change colors to show temper, to regulate heat, and YES to camouflage themselves. In my experience it is not a complete myth, I have seen Oustaleti turn a deeper grayish brown when placed onto grey stones. I have seen Panthers turn a brownish color on tree limbs then brighten into dull greens when standing on leafy areas. Look it up on the net, you will find a few articles to support camouflage color change.
 

whysoez420

New Member
I once saw a Craigslist ad where a a very bad owner was selling a female flapnecked chameleon in a 5-10g tank with a plastic skull, night light, wood chips, and one small fake plastic plant. What was worse is that the person said, "she loves to he held and changes colors to match what she is on," the ad just sickened me.

please. if you ever see something like that again, send me the link.
i will meet them in person. lessons need to be taught.
 

bradley

New Member
The amount of times I get asked about this when I say I keep chameleons. I usually get:
So what happens when you put in on something pink?
Me: nothing, they do not blend into anything you out them on
So what about a black object
Me: nothing as they do not blend into what you put them on
So don't you think you have lost them most of the time because you can't we them?
Me: no because they do not blend into their background!!!!!!!!
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, it wasn't until just a couple of years ago that people came to the conclusion that they dont change colors to match backgrounds...which is still slightly up in the air.

Its been a bit longer than a couple of years! When I first began keeping chams back in the 90s it was pretty accepted knowledge they didn't change color to match anything.

Why do you say this is still up in the air? In addition to darkening, lightening to enhance ability to absorb or deflect heat, pretty much all cham species (I can't think of any that don't do this) and many other herps can change the intensity of their natural coloration and pattern in response to stress. Think of beardies flaring their beards, anoles flaring their gular patches, leaf-tailed geckos in hunting coloration, breeding colors in frogs. The range of color and pattern is specific to the individual and species, not unlimited, which rules out the old wives' tale idea that they can match anything they want to. So, in the right situation they can "fire up" to look bigger, badder, and stronger to a rival, to look so odd it startles a predator, or to confuse an intruder by almost disappearing. They don't need to actually disappear at all. Just change quickly into something unexpected. Why does this work? Animals with blotchy multicolored markings are much harder to pick out of a busy background because they don't show a solid colored silhouette. Zebras or tigers have bold markings that allow them to disappear in the right situation. A cham in highly colored mode won't really look like one solid animal, and the fact that they can change their appearance quickly makes it seem as if they just vanished. Predators pick out an individual prey animal based on a "search image". Helps them keep track of the prey. If the image suddenly changes, they sort of lose focus long enough for the prey to escape. Herd animals group together to make it harder for the hunter to focus on one, single it out and hunt it down. All those moving shapes distract them.
 
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VigilantSpearIII

New Member
Click Here:
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0060025


Read the above research article.

According to data gathered, their is positive correlation that chameleons do in fact blend into their background to avoid predators. Although the research concludes that it is more for social interaction, it does mention camouflage is certainly one of the other main functions for color change. This is seen in dwarf chameleons. I personally have seen it in Oustaleti and even Vieled.
 

JeffJo

Member
It is like everyone else said from movies, tv shows, people spreading misinformation, etc... Also, I love all of zefrank's videos and hopefully at least some of those 1,711,488 people aren't as ignorant as they were before. And a little extra thing that I found funny was that sometimes I can't find my cham even when he's in plain sight but that's because he is the same and in the same light as the plants in his cage :p and I think that is where the original misconception came from. Most chameleon species are naturally the color of their natural environment. For example most arboreal chams are the green color of the trees they live in, and most pygmy chams are the color of the dead leaves and forest floor they naturally live in. ;)
 
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