I is for Invisible!
The eye of an Australian giant cuttlefish, taken by Richard Ling on Flikr.
Cuttlefish are a type of mollusk, and are masters of disguise. They have the largest brain in comparison to their size of any invertebrate. This photo shows the gorgeousness of the colours they can achieve.
They can disguise their appearance in seconds, even changing as they swim over a variegated surface, and can change not only their colour, but by very clever muscle arrangements, their surface texture, to even more resemble what they are seen against.
Amazingly – they are colour blind. The cells that can change colour are arranged in layers under their skin and there are 200 per square millimetre – some of the cells nearest the surface give iridescence, and some are reflective. They ‘match’ the colour that they reflect automatically.
The display of a cuttlefish changing colour is mesmerising.
The cuttlefish in the picture below as you can see is using its shape and colour to match its surroundings. I found many photos of cuttlefish that were all but invisible!
Pintu barat cuttlefish, taken by q phia on Flikr.
Photos © photographers as specified above.
Poem © Liz Brownlee.
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