Cephalopod magic

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Octopodes in particular and cephalopods in general have some pretty amazing abilities, as I’ve mentioned here, and here, but the ability I’d like to bring to your attention today is camouflage.

Broadclub cuttlefish. Image by Tongjin, licensed under GNU FDL
Broadclub cuttlefish. Image by Tongjin, licensed under GNU FDL

Cephalopods are masters of this dark art, and in this video you’ll see what I mean – from pretending to be a rock, to lurking under a piece of weed, changing colour, shape, and texture, cephalopods use every means available to make themselves invisible to predators and prey. Until they choose to become visible, as the first octopus off the rank demonstrates – I guarantee you’ll be as stunned by this as I was.

You might also be stunned by the mimic octopus, which can make itself look like a wide variety of dangerous creatures – watch this video to see how quickly it can change.

But for the ultimate in camouflage, you’ll want the cuttlefish. In particular, the broadclub cuttlefish, which can not only change it’s colour and surface texture to blend in, but also put on a dazzling light show to hypnotise prey (note: this video is about 53 minutes long, but well worth it).

[Feature image: Octopus opening a container with a screw cap Image by Matthias Kabel, licensed under GNU FDL]


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