The Mysteries of Cuttlefish Camouflage

Today we will reveal the mysteries of the Cuttlefish that is really impressive. Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish can change their skin’s colors, patterns, and textures in ways not seen anywhere else in the animal kingdom. You see what looks to be a clump of seaweed, and then it suddenly springs to life in the form of a retreating cephalopod. The changing of skin texture is a particularly impressive skill it is one that marine biologists are now a step closer to understanding. Cuttlefish has a unique muscular organ in their skin that, when expressed, exhibits skin bumps called papillae. These protruding, three-dimensional spikes can dramatically alter the shape of the animal, allowing it to imitate the fine texture of surrounding objects, such as the contoured surface of kelp and algae or the jagged outline of coral. Scientists have puzzled over this ability for years, prompting an investigation by researchers from the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and the University of Cambridge. Their consequences explain some mysteries things about cuttlefish and how they’re able to pull off these amazing tricks of deception.
Researchers Paloma Gonzalez-Bellido, Trevor Wardill, and their colleagues investigated the muscular and neural mechanisms that allow cuttlefish to express and hold their papillae in place. The researchers made their observations over the course of several experiments, including surgery on anesthetized cuttlefish. Further results were confirmed by electrically stimulating the stumps of the fin nerve and peripheral nerves. In the first of two main observations, the researchers observed that cuttlefish can hold their papillae in the extended position for more than an hour and without the use of neural signals to hold them in place. Diving into this a bit further, the scientists discovered a specialized arrangement of muscles similar to the “catch” mechanisms found in clams and other bivalves.