Kōrero: Octopus and squid

Camouflaged midget octopus

Camouflaged midget octopus

Octopus are masters of camouflage. This midget octopus (centre) blends in well with the bryozoans and shells on the sea floor. Octopus have thousands of special skin cells called chromatophores, which contain coloured pigments. These contract and expand almost instantaneously in response to changes in the surroundings. Special reflective cells (iridophores) in the skin impart an iridescence that assists with camouflage. Octopus can also alter their texture by raising or lowering tiny skin bumps (papillae).

Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi

Reference: 005237
Photograph by Peter Batson

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Te tuhi tohutoro mō tēnei whārangi:

Maggy Wassilieff and Steve O’Shea, 'Octopus and squid - Head-footed animals', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/photograph/7907/camouflaged-midget-octopus (accessed 22 April 2024)

He kōrero nā Maggy Wassilieff and Steve O’Shea, i tāngia i te 12 Jun 2006