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Abdopus abaculas shape shifting

As evidence of the remarkable ability of some octopus to quickly change shape, texture and color, I offer these four images of A. abaculas. The animal (mantle length 2.5 cm) was sitting on a black background when I disturbed it and it jetted to the left out over a white sand bottom, blanching to a smooth, white form. The frames are read from upper left to lower right. I don't have the exact time interval between each frame but given the firing rate of my Nikon D300s with a fully charged battery pack, I estimate the inter-frame interval at about 150 msec. The animal was collected as a juvenile from coral rubble at 30 m on the fore reef at Moorea. I will upload a couple of other shots to give you a better idea of its range of color and pattern.


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