When we tend to thin about Camouflage you might think of hunting since we have created outfits for ourselves to help blend in when sneaking up on your hunt. I’m not much of a hunter myself, but I know a couple of people who love to hunt and they wear those jackets almost every day of their life. Where did the inspiration come from? Sometimes I wonder if we got the idea from the creatures around us who have perfected this skill to adapt to their environment and reassure their safety. It very well could be.
In class we discussed different organisms whom did this, this reminded me of chameleons (probably because I’ve always wanted one as a pet) and I decided to look into them more to find out about how Chameleons are living in the wild. I have researched some on having them as pets, but today I realized, I don’t know much about them at all! What kinds of predators are they hiding from? Also, are they a key component to their ecosystem, or are they evasive?
There are many different species of Chamaeleonidae, approximately 180 according to Encyclopedia of Life. They roam in places like arboreal habitats, deserts, islands, mountains, and also the ocean? Ocean threw me off for sure.. I’ve never heard about Chameleons living near oceans, though there are trees by oceans usually, also a humid climate can usually be found by oceans. I found that Chameleons are at the bottom of the food chain and near the outside of the food web. They are eaten by large birds, snakes, also larger animals like monkeys tend to eat Chameleons. With so many predators, it makes sense why they have two defense mechanisms: Controlling eyes at 180 degrees, and their color change.
Not only does their color change help protect them from predators, but it is also a way of telling the Chameleons Phycological state! Their color can also be affected by the temperature around them. For example Chameleons in the deserts will usually turn black in the morning to absorb the heat, then to a light gray to reflect the sun! They may even turn both colors!