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
NOV 22, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Revealing the Battle Between Organisms & Selfish Genetic Elements
NOV 22, 2021
Revealing the Battle Between Organisms & Selfish Genetic Elements
Evolution has allowed organisms to adapt to their environments, sometimes in very specific ways, through changes in thei ...
NOV 24, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Plant-Based Antiviral for COVID-19 Infection
NOV 24, 2021
A Plant-Based Antiviral for COVID-19 Infection
Vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have been available for sometime, and have proved highly effective in preventin ...
DEC 08, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Drilling Begins for Antarctica's Oldest Ice
DEC 08, 2021
Drilling Begins for Antarctica's Oldest Ice
One of the pivotal sets of data in understanding Earth's climate have been the EPICA ice cores from Antarctica, pieces o ...
DEC 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Environmentally-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree
DEC 10, 2021
Environmentally-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree
It’s that time of year again. Christmas trees are being bought from tree farms or pulled out of storage and fillin ...
JAN 03, 2022
Earth & The Environment
The Legacy and Loss of Dr. Richard Leakey
JAN 03, 2022
The Legacy and Loss of Dr. Richard Leakey
Dr. Richard Leakey, one of the fathers of Paleoanthropology has passed away in Kenya.
JAN 14, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Myrcene: The Power Terpene
JAN 14, 2022
Myrcene: The Power Terpene
A recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition highlighted the terpene myrcene’s phytotherapeutic profile and ...
Loading Comments...