Under the skin of the cuttlefish is arrayed a dense layer of elastic pigment sacs called chromatophores. They come mainly in yellow, red, black and brown. At a signal, the cells expand and flood the skin with the appropriate shade. That is how the cuttlefish takes on the colour of the rock it stands on and makes a perfect camouflage.
This system operates so effectively that the cuttlefish can also create a complex zebra-like striping.
Left: A cuttlefish that makes itself look like the sandy surface. Right: The bright yellow colour the same fish turns in case of danger, such as when it is seen by a diver.
Next : Different Seeing Systems
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