There are a number of animals that have the ability to change colors. Most people assume that these changes occur automatically, and this isn’t true. Some animals can change color even when they aren’t moving. Others can control the process of color change.
We’ll look at the lizard chameleon as an example. When the lizard chameleon looks at a potential mate, it can change its color to match that of its target. There are several theories about how this happens. One theory suggests that the lizards use an electrical charge to create a field around themselves.
Another theory is that this occurs as a result of a chemical reaction that causes molecules in the skin to move into different positions. Yet another theory what lizards change colors suggests that the lizards are actually changing the structure of the molecules themselves.
The research suggests that it’s likely a combination of all three of these factors. It’s possible that the lizards use electrostatic forces to create an invisible shield around themselves, which deflects light in the opposite direction.
The chameleons are using electrical charges and chemicals to cause those molecules to move into new positions. It turns out that the process is even more complicated than scientists had suspected. The chameleon’s skin has a top layer that is almost translucent.