From: JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH, NoCamels, More from this Affiliate
Published September 12, 2012 09:27 AM

Octopus Camouflage Hints To Higher Intellect Than Expected

Even though most creatures use any of a variety of types of camouflage, scientists know very little about the way effective camouflage is created and its characteristics. Cephalopods — the molluscan class that includes octopuses — are considered the most developed, from an evolutionary point of view, of any sea creatures. It is known that their flexible nervous system allows the cephalopods to change the color and even the texture of their skin to adapt to their environment. The existence of large numbers of sea predators is the driving force for the development of various defensive mechanisms and behaviors, including camouflage. The best way to avoid becoming lunch is to make sure that nobody else sees you.

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But the cephalopods, which may look like they have a low IQ, are even cleverer, according to findings by Ben-Gurion University doctoral student Noam Josef, supervised by Dr. Nadav Shashar. He recently published an article on the subject in the journal PLoS One that aroused much interest among scientists. The BGU team did their research at the Eilat campus for marine biology and biotechnology research, along with colleagues at the Naples Zoological Station, creating mathematical tools to analyze photographs, the environmental parameters and the amount of information collected to create a believable disguise.

Article continues at Octopus Intelligence.

Octopus image via Wikipedia.

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