How do chameleons adapt to their environment?


Quick Answer

Chameleons adapt to their environment by changing colors for camouflage, mating, temperature or when reacting to stress. They also react to lighting, and they shift colors when responding to other chameleons. Chameleons also adapt to their surroundings through adept vision and climbing.

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Full Answer

Chameleons show different colors that can depend on their reactions. For instance, chameleons may display darker colors when angry or when trying to intimidate other chameleons. Chameleons may also show dark colors when feeling stressed in an environment. Males may display gray or brown when in a submissive state. The males may exhibit brighter colors to attract females. Females may also shift colors to display interest in a male or announce a pregnancy. Males with brighter colors are the ones that are most dominant.

The chameleon is also highly adapted through its eyes. The lizard is most notable for its cone-shaped eyes that rotate in a 360-degree capacity. This allows the chameleon to seize prey and get a clearer view of its surroundings. Chameleons are adapted to tree and forest settings, which is why they have specially grouped toes that allow them to hold onto branches for long periods. They also have prehensile tails that enable them to grab branches. Some chameleons are also adapted to desert regions. For instance, the Namaqua chameleon of the Namib Desert in Africa digs holes and burrows to escape extreme weather.

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