Posted by: Rob Lester | March 28, 2011

The unique chameleon [part 1]

Chameleons are amazing creatures which have several unique characteristics among the animal kingdom. They change colour with their highly structured skin. Underneath a transparent outer layer, there are two layers of red and yellow pigments…Below that are two more layers, one reflecting blue and another reflecting white. Deeper still is a layer of cells with the dark brown pigment melanin…[which] have ‘tentacles’ reaching into the upper layers. The colour changes when the cells expand or contract. E.g. a calm chameleon might look green when its yellow [cells] are partly contracted, letting reflected blue light through as well. An angry chameleon may be yellow because the yellow cells are large enough to block the blue light from shining through.2 The skin lightens when the[skin cells] pull melanin inwards. But when a chameleon is enraged, the melanin spreads into the outer layers and the skin may blacken…Chameleons also have large eyes that can move independently. The eyes use a unique ‘telephoto principle’ to measure distances” (important for aiming that sticky bullet of a tongue). This magnificent creature testifies of the abilities of its Creator—the God of the Bible.

Jonathan Sarfati. “A Coat of Many Colors.” Creation 26(4):28–33 September 2004

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