Question: can we ever be like a chameleon and change our colour

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  1. I would say no. It takes a lot of evolution and evolution requires a pressure acting on us to change us over time. We would suddenly need to become a hunted species that would need to develop camouflage for survival. Even in that case we are more likely to develop greyer skin than multicoloured, variable skin pigments.


  2. Hi Shaunm,

    The way a chameleon changes its colour is through the changing of size, so expanding or contracting of coloured cells such as xanthopores and erythropores. Mammals do not have these types of cells, we only have melanopores, which make us dark when expressed more.

    So unfortunately, though it would be pretty cool, we cannot change our colour like a chameleon.

    This is one of the X-men things that I use for when talking to schools about how reptiles change their colour and humans cannot, even a mutation like in x-men wouldn’t produce this sort of thing.

    Great question though