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The primary purpose of color change in chameleons is social signaling, with camouflage secondary. Color change signals a chameleon's physiological condition and intentions to other chameleons.
Chameleons tend to show darker colors when angered, or attempting to scare or intimidate others, while males show lighter, multi-colored patterns when courting females.
Some species, such as Smith's dwarf chameleon, adjust their colors for camouflage in accordance with the vision of the specific predator species (bird or snake) that they are being threatened by.