“You’d Never Suspect an Octopus Was Lying

“You’d Never Suspect an Octopus Was Lying on this Seafloor” by Tim Ghose is an article about a video that had an almost completely hidden octopus lying on the seafloor, then coming out of camouflage and presenting itself as a very peculiar and white/blue octopus. The type of octopus is called a octopus vulgari. Mike Vecchion, a zoologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Marine Fisheries Service National Systematics Laboratory and the Smithsonian institution had done research on this video and have given multiple facts and discoveries.  It is mostly found in the Caribbean and is a very complex species. The surprising and amazing level of camouflage is the way that the species can protect themselves. They have constant predators and camouflage is sometimes very helpful and efficient. Camouflage is their species main way to protect themselves from the dangerous body of water around them. To hide themselves, the species usually uses  tiny pigment cells called chromatrophes. They are bumpy and very small cells that lie on muscles or surround them. The muscles can contract and making them look bigger or smaller. Chromatrophes can also change their color to match their surrounding and octopi can also change their texture to help with the camouflage as well. The secondary defense is called shock and get away as fat as possible. This is usually when camouflage doesn’t work, so their goal is to scare their predators, usually by inking them, and then swimming away as fast as possible. Something strange about octopi is they cannot see the color they are trying to match with. Octopi are colorblind yet they still use camouflage to their advantage. Researchers and scientist also don’t know why octopi choose where to hide and use their camouflage abilities. Scientists and researchers have made tests to try to figure out if the location the octopi are picking to hide is a more sophisticated idea or just completely random. Mike’s group tested a cuttlefish, which is similar to a octopi, and put it on a checker board. The cuttlefish then tried to match the color and shape of the checker places on the board. Cuttlefish are known to have a human like visual processing which is basically when humans see a fraction of something and “fills in the blank” or assumes the rest of it. Scientists also are thinking that may be a theory for octopi as well.