Chameleons will change their colors depending on their moods. They'll darken their colors when fearful and brighten their colors when excited. Males also change color more often than females, who tend to use more subtle cues to communicate.
Just like humans will change their outfits or hairstyles to suit their mood (like when we slip into our comfy PJs at the end of the day), a chameleon may cycle through several different looks each day to fit the occasion. Some pet owners can even read their chameleons' emotions just by looking at their color.
Humans and chameleons - not so different after all.
The science behind the magic
Recent scientific discoveries have completely changed what we know about how chameleons change their skin color, and, as it turns out, the anatomy that allows chameleons to achieve this effect is far more complicated than scientists thought.
Previously, scientists believed that chameleons changed their color in a similar fashion to other animals, such as octopuses and squid, who use sacs filled with various skin pigmentation to alter their appearance.