See the world through the eyes of a CHAMELEON: Dizzying headset lets wearers look in two directions at once
The researchers observed that the lizards fix their eyes on a pixelated bug and lock their tongue into the firing position before shooting it out and hitting the target.
A chameleon actually keeps one eye on the target and adjusts the other one to match the first's gaze, switching from stereo to mono vision, before 'firing' its tongue.
This suggests the chameleon's brain can coordinate its eyes to make one follow the other and help it decide exactly what to focus on.
When chameleons were presented with two small targets moving in opposite directions, they performed the same procedure, even though their eyes moved in different directions.
'To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of such a capacity,' the researchers said.
HOW DO CHAMELEONS CHANGE COLOUR?
Swiss researchers revealed in March that chameleons use futuristic nanotechnology more advanced than anything humans possess to carry out their extraordinary colour changes.
The reptiles are capable of rearranging crystals inside specialised skin cells to switch hues in order to attract a potential mate or scare off a rival.
The process involves the active tuning of a lattice of microscopic crystals in skin cells called iridophores.
Swiss researchers have revealed that chameleons appear to be capable of rearranging crystals inside specialised skin cells to switch hues in order to attract a potential mate or scare off a rival. A stock image of a colourful panther chameleon is shown
Not only do the crystals allow the lizard to shift rapidly from efficient camouflage to spectacular mating displays, they also protect it from overheating.
It was previously thought that coloured pigments were gathered and dispersed inside different cells.
Like some other reptiles, chameleons display a wide range of colours produced not by pigments but 'optical interference' between different wavelengths of reflected light from tiny crystals, the researchers claim.
The crystals are arranged in layers within the iridophores.
In studies of the panther chameleon, which comes from Madagascar, scientists found that the creature actively controls the way its iridophore crystals generate colour.
It can turn from a camouflaged green to a bright yellow to attract a potential mate, for example
by Sarah Griffiths / via DailyMail