Nature’s mood rings: how chameleons really change colour

4 minutes

How chameleons change colours not to blend in, but for nearly opposite reasons

It’s common lore that chameleons change their colours to blend in with their environment and elude predators, but in reality, chameleons’ baseline earth-tones provide camouflage, while their more brilliant colours communicate their physiological state and intentions to other chameleons. These colour shifts result not from pigments as previously thought, but from changes in microscopic salt crystals in the chameleons’ skin. At the University of California, Berkeley, researchers are attempting to harness chameleon skins’ powers to create new synthetic materials.

Producer: Jason Jaacks

Website: Deep Look

Video/Music

Melody, rhythm and piety: the rich forms and meanings of Indian classical music

17 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Ethics

If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals

6 minutes

Video/Childhood & Adolescence

Why the ‘exotic and strange’ world of childhood is ripe for horror

5 minutes

Idea/History of Science

The missing fossils matter as much as the ones we have found

Adrian Currie & Derek Turner

Video/History of Science

Energy is like children’s toys: often hiding out of sight, but never actually lost

3 minutes

Essay/Deep Time

Welcome to Terra Sapiens

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David Grinspoon

Idea/Physics

Why we can stop worrying and love the particle accelerator

Joel Frohlich

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Essay/Biology

The queen does not rule

The ant colony has often served as a metaphor for human order and hierarchy. But real ant society is radical to its core

Deborah M Gordon

Video/Evolution

How the mantis shrimp’s six-pupiled eyes put 20/20 vision to shame

4 minutes