One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The ability of chameleons and some other animals to change colour.
- ‘Some desert reptiles, particularly lizards, are capable of varying degrees of color change (metachrosis) from darker to lighter shades, aiding both in thermoregulation and background matching.’
- ‘Our data also emphasize the dual neural and endocrine character of metachrosis in the Ambystoma larva.’
- ‘Melanophore cells are the main controls for metachrosis.’
- ‘This species has shown a limited ability to change colour (metachrosis) due to changes in the distribution of black pigment in melanophore cells.’
- ‘Color changing or metachromatism or metachrosis is common in chordates and in vertebrates such as fish, amphibians and in some types of lizards.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from meta- (denoting a change of condition) + Greek khrōsis ‘colouring’.
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