Chameleons – Biological Strategies

The colour-changing ability of chameleons is fascinating! These remarkable creatures are perfect for introducing biological strategies to young children. Exploring how the change colour at will is something that will capture kids’ imagination.

Yet, the colour changing is only the start. Chameleons’ tongues can be twice as long as its body. The tongue can extend out fast and with a lot of power. The smallest species often have the most powerful and fastest tongues.

Their tongues roll up like an accordion. The tongue has a special elastic tissue that makes it possible to roll it up. The tip of the tongue is covered in glands and acts like a suction cup, which helps them to catch prey. What a great inspiration for a cool innovation!

Did you know that certain species of chameleons glow under UV light? Scientists are not sure why they are biofluorescent.  Some chameleon species have conspicuous bony crests and tubercle patterns on their heads. The reason behind these crests and tubercles has so far been unknown but it might be that can emit blue light and that this might help them when they are looking for a partner.

You can find images of bone-based fluorescence in chameleons here:

Click here to read about an innovation inspired by chameleons!

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