Chameleons change color to match their surroundings.
Don’t believe that!
A number of animals have the ability to blend in with their background to either hide from predators or prey. For example, the mimic octopus can change both its skin color and texture to become nearly invisible against sand, coral or rock.
The most famous camouflage artist in the animal kingdom is undoubtedly the chameleon. Its very name has become synonymous with this ability. Unfortunately, the chameleon has no such ability. Its natural appearance provides a degree of camouflage already and it can move fast enough to outrun most enemies.
Chameleons DO change color – if they didn’t, the myth would have been busted a long time ago. The color changes have nothing to do with camouflage, though, but are primarily in response to the creature’s emotional or physiological state. Darker colorations are negative and may indicate the chameleon is angry or frightened, while lighter shades are used to attract a mate. Chameleons may also react to their environment by, for example, becoming darker to absorb more of the sun’s rays when it’s cold.