octopus canging color to match its surounding

How can an octopus be so colorful? Many cephalopods have special cells in their skin tissue called chromatophores, which enable them to change color rapidly. A part of their neuromuscular system, these cells receive signals from the environment than an octopus can use to inform color change. Chromatophores can help octopodes like this one in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary blend in with their surroundings or flash a warning to predators! (Photo: NURC/UNCW/NOAA)

The National Marine Sanctuary System honors America's past, serves the needs of today, and provides and defends for the future. It's a future that depends on these protected places -- learn more in our video!