The cuttlefish is one master of disguise using its ability to change colors as well as shifting the shape of its body to mimic its surroundings. This ability to blend in has been captured in a series of photographs by National Geographic. From mimicking 3D objects like plants and algae to shifiting its shape to blend in with two dimensional objects, the cuttlefish can really make you work to see it.
In the image above, scientists uses two-dimensional patters in a controlled aquarium environment to discover the cuttlefish moving its arms in corresponding positions to the directions of the stripes helping to debunk the theory that cuttles used touch to change their configuration.
The experiments conducted by the team from the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts helped showcase cuttlefish picking up visual cues to change their shapes and color to camouflage themselves into their surroundings.
“Camouflage is one of the least studied subjects in biology. It would be nice if our paper encourages folks to look at this behavior more carefully in other animals,” said biologist Roger Hanlon, whose new study was published May 11 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
Some cuttlefish have been observed holding their camouflaged positions for up to 40 minutes in the wild and use very sophisticated and complex methods to elude captors.