The cells in the skin of chameleons contain pigments of different colours. These skin cells can control the amount of pigment that is present, causing the chameleon to change to a range of colours.
Contrary to popular belief that chameleons change colour to camouflage with their surroundings, recent studies have suggested that the colour change is due to other factors such as light, temperature and communication with other chameleons rather than their surroundings. Isn’t that amazing!
Chameleons are amazing! The colour change seems to be a lot about communicating and letting other chameleons know what’s what. There are three types of cells in the skin, one type controls yellow/red colour, another type blue/white colour and the final type controls how much light is reflected. Some Chameleons as Daphne says, change colour to regulate their temperature, turning darker in the morning when it’s cooler to absorb more heat, and lighter when the sun is bright to reflect more of the light and cool down. Now that would be a great trait to have!