Friday, August 26, 2011

Cephalopodic camouflagic craftiness

So I've got a thing for squid. Octopi and Cuttlefish too, but have always been fascinated by how colossal Giant Squid are and how so little is known about them. When I worked as a seasonal naturalist during summers between college back in Ohio, we showed campfire films, and one that I loved (I think the audience did, sure they did...) was on cuttlefish, and their ability to change their skin texture and color so they blend in with their environment.

This is a 4.5 minute video, but the cool part is in the first 30 seconds. The rest is about this guy's research. 

Cephalopods are colorblind, yet are able to use their vision to change their skin color - go figure. And they do the same with the texture of their skin. They look at their surroundings, and change their skin texture based on what they see, not what they feel. Wicked cool.

Video from Science Friday. Ira Flatow rocks!


  1. That is so cool! I don't know if the Octopi we encounter in Alaska can do that, but they are amazing in so many other the incredibly small spaces they can squeeze through! We happened to have one in our net this summer (it was alive and well) and we got to show it to the kids and touch it a bit before releasing it back to its natural habitat.

  2. Kendra, I think camouflage is a pretty standard trait in the group. So cool how it blanched white - "Oh no! I've been spotted! Must swim away. Ink! Ink!"


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.