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- Several species of octopuses can change color to camouflage themselves, but the best camouflager of them all is definitely the mimic octopus. Not only does it change its color by expanding and contracting pigment cells in its skin, it changes the shape of its body to mimic other animals.
- Many species of squid also change color for camouflage, and they do so the same way an octopus does, by expanding or contracting their pigment cells.
- The cuttlefish is closely related to octopus and squid, and it has the same color-changing ability. What's remarkable about the cuttlefish is that it can accurately change to match its background in complete darkness.
Peacock FlounderThe peacock flounder changes colors to match its surroundings, in order to hide from predators and catch its prey. The flounder is able to release different pigments in certain skin cells, while repressing pigments in other cells, creating a pattern which resembles whatever surface it rests on.
Sleek UnicornfishThe sleek unicornfish changes from dark blue to light blue when it is cleaned by smaller fish who feed on parasites. Scientists think the color change helps the smaller fish more easily see the parasites on the unicorn fish's scales. Some unicornfish species also change during mating behaviors.
- We all know chameleons are great color-changers, but their color-changing abilities are actually not used for camouflage, as many people think. Chameleons change color to express their moods - if they're feeling territorial and aggressive, or if they want to mate. To change color, they use the same types of cells that octopuses and cuttlefish use.