Here's how chameleons really change color

March 11, 2015 2:33 PM

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Here's how chameleons really change color

Chameleons may not be the only creatures on the planet capable of shade shifting, but they're probably the best at it—panther chameleons in particular. They can go from green and blue hues to yellow and red ones in a matter of minutes, and scientists say they now think they know how.

Reporting in Nature Communications, researchers say that instead of relying on pigments, these reptiles also boast nanocrystals called iridophores beneath their skin, which contract or expand to essentially reflect different levels of light.

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