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Octopus changes colour to blend in with coral as it hunts for food

Octopus changes colour to blend in with coral as it hunts for food in hypnotic underwater footage

  • A Czech tourist filmed the octopus while diving on a reef in the Red Sea
  • The tourist was enjoying a break to the Egyptian resort of Marsa Alam 
  • The footage shows the octopus hovering over the seabed changing colour
  • An octopus changes colour to evade potential predators and to catch prey  

An octopus’s astonishing ability to camouflage itself while hunting for food has been captured on film by a tourist on holiday in the Red Sea. 

The unidentified Czech holidaymaker was enjoying a short break at the Egyptian resort of Marsa Alam last month when they went diving on a reef. 

While underwater, the holidaymaker spotted the octopus hanging around the reef looking for food. 

The octopus was filmed combing the coral on a reef in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt

A Czech tourist followed the octopus as it changed colour while on the hunt for food 

The cephalopod mimicked the texture of its surroundings so it could avoid predators 

The tourist spotted the octopus while swimming in the resort of Marsa Alam 

As it hovered over the surface, the octopus changed colour and texture to blend in with the surroundings – at one stage almost vanishing into the coral.

According to the witness: ‘The octopus was filmed during my holiday in Egypt.

‘Specifically, the resort Jaz Grand Marsa.

‘I started to film shortly after the octopus leaves its shelter.’

One of the most effective ways octopuses avoid predation is by camouflaging with their environment.

They have special pigment cells allow them to control the colour of their skin, much like chameleons.

As well as colour change they can manipulate the texture of their skin in order to blend in with the terrain. 

As well as camouflage they can escape predators by using a ‘jet propulsion’ method of escape, where they rapidly shoot out water to propel them through the water rapidly.  

The jet of water from the siphon is often accompanied by a release of ink to confuse and evade potential enemies.

The suckers on the tentacles of the eight-legged beasts are extremely powerful and are used to drag prey towards a sharp beak.

As well as protection from other animals, it has been recently found that octopuses can detect the ultrasonic waves that preempt a volcanic eruption or earthquake, giving them enough time to escape.


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