|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish (cephalopods) can change their skin color to match their surroundings and/or to reflect their mood. They possess specialized color pigment cells called chromatophores. Each chromatophore contains three colors which can blend in a variety of ways. Cephalopods can change color rapidly. That is because the color change is controlled by their nervous system. In many other animals, color change is controlled by hormones and takes a longer time to occur. In addition to rapid color changes, many cephalopods can alter their skin texture to closely match the texture of an irregular background. Specialized muscles enable them to do this.
For more information about cephalopods, visit these sites:
The Cephalopod Page
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Zoology.