Ever Wonder How Some Critters Camouflage Themselves?

December 4 2007

See if you can find the cuttlefish in the left photo and then click on the accompanying video.

The article explains that cephalopods such as the cuttlefish have a number of layers, the innermost of which is made up of light-scattering leucophore cells to reflect ambient light. It's kind of like a base coat that helps them match their surroundings.

The outer layer is what allows the animal to change color. that layer is full of chromatophores, which are essentially little balloons filled with red, yellow, or brown pigment. A muscle is attached to each chromatophore; when it contracts, the pigment sac is pulled outward, expanding the colored area.

How many chromatophores do you suppose cephalpods have? Well, deep water squid have all of 40...but octopuses and cuttlefish have more than a million.

Nice bit of trivia for your next networking event, right?

Category: Now You Know
Filed under: Animals