Kings of Camouflage

Published January 12, 2014 in Invertebrates, MARINE LIFE

It could be lurking close by, blending in perfectly with the coral reef or a sea grass bed. But unless it chooses to reveal itself, you could swim right by this alien-like creature without even knowing it was there. Sometimes referred to as “the chameleon of the sea,” cuttlefish have a remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin color and patterning at will–sometimes seeming to disappear among their surroundings, then suddenly exploding in a pulsating display of moving light that can hypnotize prey or signal to others of their kind.

With eight arms growing out of their heads, and three hearts pumping blue blood through their pliable, gelatinous bodies, cuttlefish may seem like creatures from another planet, but they actually thrive in abundant numbers on the colorful reefs of Wakatobi!

If you can imagine that cuttlefish are extraterrestrials who came to earth, then diving in Wakatobi, hovering weightless as you watch one of these strange creatures pulsate in other-worldly color patterns, might well be as close as you can ever come to visiting another planet!

Learn about these masters of disguise by watching the PBS-NOVA video, Kings of Camouflage.


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