How do animals change color?



  1. 0 Votes

    There are species of animals, such as certain cephalopods, that have camouflage mechanisms. The octopus has special skin cells called iridophores that cover its entire surface. Iridophores contain reflective platelets, so they reflect color instead of generate color. The color given off depends on the angle at which light enters the cell. In this way, the octopus can camouflage depending on the colors of its surroundings.

  2. 0 Votes

    Some Arctic mammals change their color dependent on the season.  In the summer, these animals, such as the Arctic Fox and the Arctic Hare, will have more of a brown and earth colored coat to blend in with the grasses and shrubs. When winter approaches and the white snows begin to fall, they shed their brown furs and replace them with white ones.  The shedding cycle continues when summer approaches again.  An Arctic bird called the Ptarmigan does a similar color change, except it molts its’ feathers instead of shedding fur.

  3. 0 Votes

    I will use Chameleon as my example and to go into detail.

    Layers: Chameleons have several layers of specialized skin, called chromatophores. The first is transparent, under which it has 2 cell layers containing red(ErythrophoreS) and yellow(xanthophores) pigments. Under the chromatophores, there are cell layers(iridophores or guanophores) that reflect blue and white. Below that, there is a brown melanin layer (like in humans.. woot woot) that controls how much light is reflected. 

    Mechanism: Change in color for chameleons is due to light, temperature, and emotional state. These factors cause the cells to expand or contract. Chromatophores change color depending on the signals from the brain.

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