When I was diving in Monterey Bay, CA, I saw a California Two-Spot Octopus. I was amazed. It was mesmerizing, waving its front two legs in the air, changing colors really fast, trying to scare me off. The Bimac, or two-spot octopus, is a species of octopus that is characterized by blue spots around or under their eyes, who live in the waters of Mexico, Africa, California (of course), and areas of Japan.
This particular octopus was changing colors, and I thought that that was really cool. I was curious: how do octopi, and all other cephalopods, change colors?
The answer: Chromatophores. They are cells containing pigment, located just under an octopus's skin, that can enlarge to show more color. Octopi, squids, and cuttlefish all have thousands of chromatophores in black, brown, orange, red, or yellow. Another neat trick of the octopus is that it has iridophores and leucophores, plates that reflect to help them blend in.
Then, to my great surprise, the octopus abruptly made its skin erupt into goosebumps! It stopped the rippling colors effect and curled its tentacles in, effectively looking like a rock. I had to research that, too: papillae, another amazing cell, allows an octopus to change the texture of their skin. Muscles control them, like the chromatophores, to pull them in and out.
Octopi are so amazing! they are my favorite animals. use this link to view the octopus I saw on YouTube!