23 COLOR CHANGING ANIMALS - Names and Pictures

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In the animal kingdom we can find many species of animals capable of altering their coloration. This capacity, so striking for human beings, can have different purposes and utilities in animals, depending on the species and its objectives in each situation.

If you want to learn more about them, join us in this curious Green Ecologist article in which we talk about 23 animals that change color in certain situations and you will be able to learn their names and characteristics, as well as see images of them.

Why do animals change color

Why do animals change color? Well, the truth is that there are four main reasons why different animals adopt this ability:

  • Survival: it is the most common, and also the easiest to understand. An animal capable of altering its coloration to go unnoticed by mimicry with the environment, has a much greater chance of not being perceived by its predators or by its potential prey to catch them off guard. Also fall into this category are those who resort to aposematism, that is, adopting striking and strident colorations to deter their predators and enemies.
  • Reproduction: many species have mating rituals that involve attracting the attention of the member of the opposite sex with all kinds of resources. The ability to change body color is a very valuable skill when it comes to attracting attention and actually many animals use it that way.
  • Thermoregulation: different colors absorb light with different degrees and, therefore, also its temperature. Being able to go darker means being able to warm up faster in the sun, while being lighter will help you cool down.
  • Communication: This method of communication is used frequently by the chameleon, although it is not exclusive to it. Its different colors can reflect different states of mind or sensations, such as fear or alertness, thus being a way of communicating.

Chameleon (Chamaeleonidae)

Can't talk about animals that change color without starting with the best known of them all, chameleon (Chamaeleonidae), famous precisely for this ability, although he is also famous for his curious large eyes, his long tongue and his slow movements. All chameleons can change their coloration, although the different species do so with a greater or lesser range of colors. It uses its chromatic capacity both to camouflage itself and to attract females and regulate its temperature, thanks to chromatophores in the different layers of your skin. These are the names of some chameleon species:

  • Ituri chameleon (Bradypodion adolfifriderici).
  • Fischer's chameleon (Bradypodion fischeri).
  • Smith's dwarf chameleon (Bradypodion taeniabronchum).
  • Jackson's chameleon (Trioceros jacksonii).

Cuttlefish (Sepiida)

The common cuttlefish It is one of the marine mollusks that can be found in various oceans and seas, at depths of at least 200 meters. They have a skin endowed with chromatophores, like that of chameleons and many other animals with this ability to change color, which are specialized cells in the skin and use them to change the patterns or patterns of the skin throughout your body in a very short time.

Sole (Solea solea)

Flatfish are one of the greatest teachers among the animals that camouflage using the coloration changes. They have evolved to bury themselves in the sand or lie on the bottom, change the color of their scales and go unnoticed. The common sole is one of his best examples of color-changing fish.

Here you can discover more about these species and meet 20 animals that camouflage themselves.

Tortoise beetle (Charidotella egregia)

This beetle has wings that cover the entire back and are usually of a metallic gold color. However, when the turtle beetleCharidotella egregia) is in stressful situations or before events that alter its state, such as when reproducing or feeling threatened, its wings change color completely and become a colorful red.

American anole (Anolis carolinensis)

This reptile has its origin in the territories of the United States, although today it is extended to Mexico and some nearby islands. It is typical of wooded areas and meadows, and tends to choose a tree life or on the rocks. The American anole (Anolis carolinensis) it also has chromatophores, which allow it to go from its original coloration bright green to brown or dark brown in threatening situations.

Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus)

The skin is not the only resource available to change color: the coat can also do it, although it changes slowly and has nothing to do with cormatophores. There are several mammals that use this ability, such as the arctic foxVulpes lagopus). In the warm season their coat is gray or brown, but when it arrives Snow in the cold months, change his fur for a white one, which allows it to be confused with the snowy mantle.

Meet more animals that live with the arctic fox at the North Pole in this other post about What animals live in the North and South Pole.

Mime Octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus)

The awesome mime octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) is one of the best when it comes to impersonating others. His totally flexible body and his great intelligence allow him adopt the forms of other animals and it is also able to change its coloration to make the perfect costume. It is capable of imitating up to 20 different species such as crabs, jellyfish and stingrays and inhabits the waters of Australia and some countries in Asia.

If you want to know more animals with great intelligence, we recommend you take a look at this other Green Ecologist article in which you will see The 10 most intelligent animals in the world.

Yellow crab spider (Misumena vatia)

This is one of the small arachnids that does not measure more than 1 cm is typical of North America. The yellow crab spider changes color to white and yellow tones with different patterns, to adapt to the coloration of the flowers in which it usually perches to hunt.

Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla)

The Pacific tree frogPseudacris regilla) is a frog from North America, which climbs trees thanks to the suction-cup pads of its legs, is capable of change color to blend in with the environment or regulate its temperature, a process that they are able to complete in between one and two minutes.

Seahorse (Hippocampus)

The species of seahorses or Hippocampus who has managed to master the change in color of your skin thanks to chromatophores. Faced with threatening or other stimuli, such as in their courtship phase, these marine species are capable of changing their coloration, at a speed that will depend on the power of the stimulus.

Other animals that change color: list of names and photos

If you want more examples of animals that can change color look at this list of species:

  • Flaming cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi).
  • Australian giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama).
  • Common hook squid (Onychoteuthis banksii).
  • Common squid (Loligo vulgaris).
  • Opalescent inshore squid (Doryteuthis opalescens).
  • European flounder (Platichthys flesus).
  • Goby fishGobius paganellus).
  • Great blue octopusCyanea octopus).
  • Abyssal octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica).
  • Pogona or bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps).

Here below you can see the photos of these animals that change color in the same order of this list.

If you want to read more articles similar to Color-changing animals, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.

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