STEM Tuesday: Chameleons

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 It’s a myth that chameleons change colors to match their surrounding?  Really?  I always thought that.  The September issue of National Geographic tells me otherwise.  Instead,

[tweetthis]the color changes are ways to communicate quite particular messages:courtship, stress, competition. [/tweetthis]

Here’s  more unbelievable facts about chameleons:

They have tongues far longer than their bodies.

They have telescopic vision eyes that swivel independently.

They have horns sprouting from brow and snout.

They have feet with toes fused into mitten-ilk pincers.

They have knobby nasal ornaments.

They have a skin flap circling the neck like a lace ruff.

That kind of awesomeness helps me understand why it can be difficult to believe these creatures are a product of evolution.  I mean, they do seem like some kind of masterful miracle.

I understand Christopher Anderson’s child-like fascination with chameleons. They have such interesting personalities.

Please watch this short video by clicking on the arrow.

I had Australia on my next-best place to visit.  However, after watching this, I may need to go to Madagascar first.

How Anderson harnessed his fascination to uncover scientific evidence of chameleon physiology is amazing. It amazes me how scientists observe things, like a chameleon eating a bug, (pretty cool) and then figure out a way to determine just how it happens (a camera that captures 3,000 frames/second.) One answer leads to a new question. New discoveries follow.

Perhaps that’s a bit miraculous, too.