|COLOR CHANGING MECHANISMS|
ddddBesides the sci-fi application of color change (i.e. camouflage) on military technology, understanding the concept and applications has signifance on species conservation.
ddddSince temperature is a major factor in determing color change in anoles and chameleons, climate change has direct implications on these species. Lepetz et al. propose a correlation between temperature, morphotypes, and survival rates of Lacerta vivipara lizards (2009). Essentially, temperature affected development of certain morphotypes probably through the MSH pathway, and these morphotypes had a significant difference in survival when coming out of hibernation the following year depending on the temperature (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 shows juvenile survival rate in males and females depending on morphotype (reticulated or linear patterns, blue and red lines respectively). For temperatures that produce L morphotypes, the was a lower survival rate when coming out of hibernation. Graph adapted from Lepetz et al.
ddddKnowing how color change is affected by temperatures could be significant in the evolution of species and speciation. Since body coloration is affected by temperature and light in most reptiles (especially anoles and chameleons), I suggest thast it is possible that reproductive communciation could be greatly affected by climate change as well.
ddddUnderstanding the details of color change has important implications on the evolution of a process that allows for optimal thermoregulation, communication, and predator avoidance (Stuart-Fox and Adnan Moussalli 2008).