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Animals That Can Change Their Color (And How They Do It)

Updated June 26, 2020 12.2k views20 items

Camouflage is pretty common in the animal kingdom, but animals that can change their colors are much less common. This list is full of animals that have the spectacular evolutionary gift of being able to change their colors. Some of them can change to blend into a new background in less than a second.

The reasons animals change their colors do vary, as do the methods they use to change colors, and scientists still do not completely understand the ways in which some animals change. But the mystery just makes them all the more awesome to look at.
  • Octopus
    Video: YouTube
    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.

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  • Squid
    Video: YouTube
    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.

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  • Cuttlefish
    Video: YouTube
    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.

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  • Seahorse
    Video: YouTube
    The seahorse changes color the same way octopuses, squids, and cuttlefish do. It changes color either for camouflage or to express emotions during courtship.

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