Chameleons have a mobile lattice of nanocrystals on the surface of their skin
which come together and disperse, shifting the wavelength of light reflected.
A major DNA analysis of the evolutionary origin and history of the one of the world’s most remarkable vertebrates – the chameleon – has shown that it originated in Africa, and not Madagascar as was previously thought. Today most chameleon species are found in Africa and Madagascar, both of which are fragments of the ancient super-continent Gondwana. But the origin of the family dates back 90 million years, post-dating the Gondwana break-up which happened 120 million years ago.