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The Octopus Might Be Smarter than We Imagined
By Angela Messina, September 13, 2012 @ 10:15 AM (EST)
Source: No Camels

Octopus and cephalopods are widely believed to have some of the most developed camouflaging abilities in the ocean and are able to change both the color and texture of their skin to match their surroundings. Now a new Israeli study from Ben Gurion University indicates that octopuses might be even smarter than was originally believed.

A team of Israeli and Italian scientists studying two species of octopuses off the island of Capri took photographs from above to capture the point-of-view of a predator and captured them in gray-scale in order to mimic the octopus’s black and white vision.



After mathematical analysis of the photographs, scientists discovered that the observed octopuses had used a clever technique to compensate for their sometimes imperfect disguises. Rather than attempt to blend in perfectly with the sand or seafloor, octopuses imitated the appearance of irregular features in their surroundings such as coral, rocks, algae spots, and oddly colored sand spots.

This surprising technique helped to compensate for any deficiencies in their camouflage and helped them to blend in more than if they had simply tried to blend in with the sand.

Read more about the study here.

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