Animal IQ

The Cuttlefish Is Nature's Master Impersonator

The cuttlefish is more than just a little squid. As PBS explains, they possess traits and abilities that are alien to us humble humans. Of those traits is their otherworldly knack for mimicry. These guys (which belong to the same smarty-pants family as octopuses and squids) have been called the masters of camouflage, outshining even the chameleon in the color-changing department. The skin of a cuttlefish possesses around 250 chromatophores (pigment cells) per square millimeter, which is how the creature can pattern itself at the drop of a hat in a huge variety of colors. Apparently, they're good actors too. Male cuttlefish can mimic the colors of their female counterparts, just to screw with their enemies. Watch the National Geographic video below to see the cuttlefish act as hermit-crab-like as the real thing.

Watch And Learn: Impressive Videos Of Cuttlefish

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Let's Play A Game: Where's The Cuttlefish?

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Cuttlefish produce colorful patterns on their bodies by expanding or contracting chromatophores on their skin. 00:42

  2. Cuttlefish often change color after successfully capturing prey, and scientists don't know why. 01:08

  3. When placed on a pattern of incomplete circles, cuttlefish seem to fill in the gaps and camouflage themselves the way they would on a pattern of complete circles. 02:45

True Facts About The CuttleFish

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. The cuttlefish has an inner shell to aid in buoyancy called the "cuttlebone." 00:19

  2. When cuttlefish feel threatened, they can release ink to ward off enemies. 02:25

  3. The species have poisoned beaks that help kill their prey. 02:55

Written By
Curiosity Staff
November 21, 2014