Journal article

Selection for social signalling drives the evolution of chameleon colour change

Devi Stuart-Fox, Adnan Moussalli

PLOS BIOLOGY | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2008

Abstract

Rapid colour change is a remarkable natural phenomenon that has evolved in several vertebrate and invertebrate lineages. The two principal explanations for the evolution of this adaptive strategy are (1) natural selection for crypsis (camouflage) against a range of different backgrounds and (2) selection for conspicuous social signals that maximise detectability to conspecifics, yet minimise exposure to predators because they are only briefly displayed. Here we show that evolutionary shifts in capacity for colour change in southern African dwarf chameleons (Bradypodion spp.) are associated with increasingly conspicuous signals used in male contests and courtship. To the chameleon visual syst..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers