Deep sea cephalopods can switch between transparent or opaque for better camouflage

Cephalopods continue to astound us on a daily basis. New research has shown that deep sea cephalopods not only have incredible camouflage powers, but can switch between being transparent and opaque at will.

For sea creatures, the best type of camouflage depends greatly on the conditions and the depth. When it's comparatively light, transparency is the best defense, but in the deep ocean where predators provide their own light sources, being a less reflective, dark color protects better. The octopus Japetella heathi and the squid Onychoteuthis banksii both demonstrate the ability to do either switching according to changes in depth, visibility, light sources.

Deep sea cephalopods can switch between transparent or opaque for better camouflage

This just adds to the already substantial collection of awesome camouflage stories about cephalopods.

Photo by Sarah Zylinski/Duke University