Chameleon colors let it all hang out

The word "chameleon" is almost synonymous with camouflage. But the chameleon's famed ability to change colors may be more about sticking out than blending in: A new linkurl:study;http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0060025 in PLoS Biology suggests color change is a way for the lizards to send each other signals related to mating - but to do so quickly, so as not to attract predators. linkurl:Devi Stuart-Fox;http://www.lexagrutter.com/Devi_pro

Alla Katsnelson
Jan 28, 2008
The word "chameleon" is almost synonymous with camouflage. But the chameleon's famed ability to change colors may be more about sticking out than blending in: A new linkurl:study;http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0060025 in PLoS Biology suggests color change is a way for the lizards to send each other signals related to mating - but to do so quickly, so as not to attract predators. linkurl:Devi Stuart-Fox;http://www.lexagrutter.com/Devi_profile.htm and Adnan Moussalli at the University of Melbourne examined color change in pairs of adult male chameleons of several species native to southern Africa. They looked at how color change correlated with factors such as color variation in the animals' background (predicted to be high if the animals are camouflaging) and the visibility of dominance signals the two males exchanged in their face-off (predicted to be high if the animals are signaling). They also modeled how color changes would be perceived by the chameleons' visual system and linkurl:that...
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