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The Octopus is an extraordinary animal which has many fascinating features. One of them is its amazing transformation ability. The Octopus can morph to almost any shape and change the texture and the color of its skin extremely rapidly. By doing that, it can hide from enemies or, on the contrary, impress them with flashing dissuasive colors. The following videos are probably the most famous: they almost look like they are fake!
Most cephalopods (which are basically mollusks with tentacles) have this ability to change color, called homochromy. The male cuttlefish displays dynamic glowing color patterns to know if another cuttlefish is a male or not.
Roger Hanlon from the Marine Biological Laboratory (Massachusetts) has studied these animals for a long time. His page is full of extraordinary videos. In this one, you can see how the chromatophores work:
The mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus), a specie discovered in Indonesia in the 90’s, has developed the most impressive imitation skills. It can mimicry the appearance and the behavior of a large range of animals: sea snakes, flatfish etc. Sometimes, one can’t even tell what it’s trying to seem like!
To learn more:
-Enter "cuttlefish", "mimic octopus" ou "octopus camouflage" in your search engine!
-Visit Roger Hanlon's website
-Watch this last video: