Sunday Sketch: Sneaky Cephalopods

Cephalopods, from squid to octopus, are masters of color – and the mourning cuttlefish (Sepia plangon) is no exception. Some male cuttlefish of this species selectively change color on each half of their body, allowing them to have female patterns on one side and male patterns on the other. They orient the “female” side toward other males to avoid fights, while simultaneously wooing the ladies with the “male” side. Two-faced indeed!

Sketch and fact contributed by Elizabeth Postema

Source: Brown, C., Garwood, M. P., & Williamson, J. E. (2012). It pays to cheat: tactical deception in a cephalopod social signaling system. Biology Letters, 8, 729-732. DOI:

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