Cuttlefish Look Like Squid—and Like Crabs, and Like Algae, and Like Rocks
Cuttlefish have been captured on film exhibiting sophisticated camouflage strategies at night, according to scientists who are using new high-resolution cameras to bring these dramatic changes into focus.
They are also using underwater spectrometers to measure color wavelength to determine how other marine creatures perceive these shifts.
The findings are helping to crack the code of cephalopods, including cuttlefish, which also employ shape-shifting strategies to conceal themselves as coral or algae.
Each summer, giant cuttlefish—molluscan relatives of octopuses and squid—gather along spawning grounds off the south Australian coast.
For the last nine breeding seasons, Roger Hanlon, senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and a National Geographic Society grantee, has closely studied their camouflage strategies. (National