Chameleons are a top-tier freaky pet that you just can’t help but be mesmerized by and their active color changing abilities are a picture perfect example of chemistry going hand in hand with evolution. Believe it or not, these oddball reptiles are actually working with a different chemical toolbox than cephalopods and their other color-changing counterparts. Today we’re looking how they work their magic, and how it’s inspired scientists to invent up-and-coming technologies!
Cephalopods and chameleons have color-changing cells called chromatophores that carry pigments inside of them that can be displayed at will; however, there is a big difference between the two. The chameleon’s version comes equipped with an advanced layer of nano-science. This colorful little guy is known as a Panther Chameleon, and its skin can exhibit a range of these specific colors Here’s where it gets interesting: only /these/ specific colors can be displayed by the typical pigments release by chromatophores. So where do they get those whites, blues, and greens? From unique cells called iridophores.