FEB 03, 2016 12:17 PM PST

Octopuses Change Color When They Are Feeling Aggressive

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

An octopus, much like a chameleon, has the ability to change its skin color. Common belief has long stood that an octopus will change its color in relation to its surroundings in order to prevent predators from seeing it and attacking it, but new research suggests octopuses may change their color for a different reason.
 

Octopus tetricus is the species used in the research to learn more about the color changes.


Unlike a wide variety of other animals, which are very social towards one another, octopuses are rarely seen with other animals, even their own kind. They’re thought to be asocial, and this means they don’t particularly like being with others and rather enjoy to live a life of solitude.
 
With this in mind, they may get grumpy or angry by other animals attempting to socialize with them. According to a new study published in the journal Current Biology, octopuses may change their color to signal aggression towards another animal, different species or not, and perhaps even to initiate a fight.
 
The researchers mostly monitored a specific species of octopus known as octopus tetricus, which is a species native to Australia and New Zealand, comparing signals in body language to that of the color changes using hidden cameras while divers weren’t present. Researchers have determined that color changes happen most frequently under stressful scenarios where aggression was one of the key factors of the octopus’ behavior.
 


Under aggression, an octopus will change its color to a darker one to scare away lighter-colored animals while it also attempts to increase its body size by standing taller off the ground to scare off smaller animals. Such behavior is meant to intimidate threats and scare off other animals to preserve life.
 
Although it’s possible some octopus species may use their camouflage technique to evade predators in some scenarios, it seems that the long-standing idea of this feature being applied to app species is very much possible to disprove. Some species simply take advantage of their features to rule their territory.
 


Source: Current Biology

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JAN 30, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Invasive species reduce water resources in Ethiopia
JAN 30, 2021
Invasive species reduce water resources in Ethiopia
An invasive evergreen tree, known as Prosopis juliflora, is quite the thirsty species. Prosopis has taken over large swa ...
MAR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
MAR 09, 2021
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
Some of the most interesting—and possibly strangest—scientific discoveries happen by accident. According to ...
APR 01, 2021
Plants & Animals
Scientists Solve Sea Lion Cancer Mystery
APR 01, 2021
Scientists Solve Sea Lion Cancer Mystery
For more than thirty years, scientists have tried to solve the mystery of the high prevalence of cancer among wild Calif ...
MAY 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sharks Can Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate
MAY 10, 2021
Sharks Can Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate
How do sharks make transatlantic journeys without losing their way? New research published this week in Current Biology ...
MAY 19, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
How Plant Cell Walls Stay Strong but Flexible
MAY 19, 2021
How Plant Cell Walls Stay Strong but Flexible
Plant cell walls have a special ability to expand without breaking or weakening, which is crucial for plant growth. New ...
JUN 18, 2021
Health & Medicine
Antidepressants in Waterways Can Change Animals' Behavior
JUN 18, 2021
Antidepressants in Waterways Can Change Animals' Behavior
Prescription drugs in waterways may be altering the behavior of aquatic animals, according to a study published this wee ...
Loading Comments...