How do octopuses change color?

Octopuses are famous for rapidly changing color to blend in with their surroundings.  (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Octopuses might be nature’s ultimate weirdos: They have squishy bodies that can squeeze through tiny cracks; eight sucker-covered arms that can be regrown; three hearts that pump blue blood (rich in copper) through their veins; and massive, donut-shaped brains that give them superior intelligence compared with other invertebrates. But octopuses’ most awe-inspiring trait is arguably their ability to rapidly change color and blend into their surroundings, camouflaging themselves at will. 

Camouflage is an important skill shared by almost all cephalopods — a group of marine invertebrates that also includes squid and cuttlefish — but octopuses have taken it to a whole other level. These animals have the highest resolution patterns of any cephalopod and display some of the quickest color transitions in the entire animal kingdom. (There are around 300 species of octopus in the order Octopoda. In this article, the term ‘octopuses’ is used to describe general trends throughout the group, but not every species is capable of changing color, and the camouflaging mechanics they use can vary.)

https://www.livescience.com/how-do-octopuses-change-color How do octopuses change color?

Russell Falcon

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