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What makes an octopus change color?
√ Octopuses can shift hues because they have chromatophores — tiny, color-changing organs that are dotted throughout an octopus's skin.
√ At the heart of each chromatophore are tiny sacs filled with nanoparticles of a pigment called xanthommatin.
√ The pigment sacs are surrounded by an elastic matrix that is, in turn, connected to muscle cells that surround the sac in a pointed star shape.
√ As these muscle cells contract, the pigment sac stretches, which enables more light to enter the cell and reflect off the xanthommatin particles.
√ xanthommatin absorbs certain wavelengths, or colors, of visible light, the light it reflects back out of the chromatophore is a different color compared with the light that first entered the cell.
√ There are three layers of chromatophores in an octopus's skin, and each layer has xanthommatin particles that reflect back a different color. The top layer produces a yellow color, the middle layer reflects back a red color and the bottom layer produces a brown color, Deravi said. Octopuses can combine these colors by changing the shape of the chromatophores in each layer, which enables the cephalopods to create a wide array of hues.
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50,000 cells in your body died and were replaced by new ones while you were reading this sentence.
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