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Monday, June 24, 2013

Coralline mimic

Eric looked down into a shallow tidepool a few days ago and at first he had trouble figuring out what he was seeing.  The pool was filled with algae, including pink-and-white striped coralline algae, but something else was there.  His eyes adjusted and then he was very excited to realize what it was:

We've been very lucky running into octopus recently.  (I hope you're not getting tired of seeing them on the blog, but I can't resist them!  They're remarkable animals.)  And this one was demonstrating the best of its camouflage capabilities.  

We'd never seen one mimicking coralline algae before.  It was a beautiful pale pink coloration.  And it was amazing to see how it had created the narrow white lines so often found in these segmented seaweeds.  

It was a difficult setting for a photograph, with many reflections off the surface of the water, the octopus, and the algae.  But here's another attempt.

And one more image — a close-up of an arm with the delicate patterning so similar to the adjacent coralline algae.


Anonymous said...

I NEVER tire of seeing these marvelous animals who look back at you - it's a sign of a very good day indeed. Have never seen one looking quite like this however - what an exquisite find! Hollis

Anonymous said...

Please don't even think of curtailing your octopus postings. They are one of the most marvelous critters on the planet!