What are the speckles on this baby squid? Chromatophores!
Chromatophores are special pigmented cells that enable squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish to rapidly change color and texture. This color-changing skill helps them camouflage themselves with their surroundings, and also assists with communication.
This baby squid was found in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary by researchers with the ACCESS Partnership. ACCESS conducts regular monitoring expeditions within national marine sanctuaries in California to better understand habitat and ecosystem conditions.
(Photo: Ryan Anderson/NOAA/Pt. Blue/ACCESS)
[Image description: A translucent baby squid with red dots swims in a dish of water.]