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Chromatophore Color Show
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2018. Download larger version (mp4, 30.3 MB).

This squid, imaged during exploration of an intercanyon ridge offshore North Carolina, can be seen changing color. Cephalopods, including squid, octopods, and cuttlefishes, are some of the few animals in the world so adept at changing color. They do so using color-changing cells called chromatophores. Movement of muscles surrounding these elastic pigment sacks causes them to expand (revealing more color) or retract (less color). Cephalopods use color changing to communicate, with potential mates or possibly to warn predators, or to camouflage and disguise themselves.

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