Tucking ourselves in for one last day of cepha…

Tucking ourselves in for one last day of cephalopod content with a pyjama squid slumber party! 😴

The striped pyjama squid may seem shy and sleepy, but beware to all passing shrimp! These nocturnal hunters bury themselves in the sand with only their eyes peeking out, waiting for something tasty to stroll by.

We may have octopushed him too far with this p…

We may have octopushed him too far with this pun…

Cephalopods are quick-change artists. Like a living LCD screen, their skin can flicker and flash, or create complex patterns for camouflage and communication. The stripes, spots, and speckles of cephalopods are created by concentrated channels of chromatophores: tiny sacs of pigment that stretch and crumple to create their constantly changing patterns.

Awww, it’s a squidling learning to camouflage!…

Awww, it’s a squidling learning to camouflage! 😍👶🦑

Cephalopods like squid use pigment sacs called chromatophores to change the color of their skin. Muscles attached to the sacs expand and contract, making the skin more or less sea-through.

In this video, you can see the chromatophores twitching, with the microscopic muscles pulling the chromatophores like small invisible ropes spreading out the colorful tarp of pigment within the skin.

Young squid hatch out of their eggs with chromatophores at the ready to hide from predators as they make their way into the wild blue yonder. Keep up the great work little cutethulhu!

My, my… what big eyes you have! 👀🦑

My, my… what big eyes you have! 👀🦑

When it comes to squid eye size, bigger is better. Just to put it in perspective, a squid eye can be up to 100x larger than a human eye, relative to body size! Their large eyes capture a LOT of light and allow squid to spot moving prey and incoming predators even in places with very little light, like a deep reef.

Cuttlefishes and nautilus really rise to the o…

Cuttlefishes and nautilus really rise to the occasion!

Much like their molluscan cousins, most cephalopods have shells—some are very obvious, like a nautilus’s shell, while others are much subtler, like the pen of a squid and the cuttlebone of a cuttlefish. Cuttlebones and nautilus shells are divided into chambers, so they can change the amount of gas and liquid in their shells to change their buoyancy. This allows them to move up and down in the water column with ease!

We aren’t squidding when we say that cephalopo…

We aren’t squidding when we say that cephalopods are clearly radula! 🦑

A bigfin reef squid’s mantle, arms and tentacles are so transparent that you can actually see parts of its anatomy. For example, that little black dot between and just below its eyes is its beak, and you can see its digestive tract and ink sac inside its mantle! 😱

We all have our blind spots — or do we?? 

We all have our blind spots — or do we?? 

The layout of human eyes and cephalopod eyes is remarkably similar, but in humans, the nerves that carry visual signals to our brains run across the front of the retina, while in cephalopods, those same optic nerves run behind the retina. Where those nerves exit our eyes it creates a blind spot, because there’s no room for photoreceptors to sense light that strikes it there. But cephalopods don’t have that problem since their nerves run behind the retina! Inkredible, right?!

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