Animating the Sea: Motion, Light and Eyes

Faculty: Ruth Hayes, M.F.A., and Pauline Yu, Ph.D.



Camouflaging consists of several different methods, from permanently reflecting the organism’s environment to taking steps to constantly adapt to it. The octopus uses its eyes and photosensitive materials in its skin to assess the object it is attached to before either expanding or shrinking color-filled cells in its skin to match. The weedy sea dragons, relatives to the camouflaging leafy sea dragon, adopt similar techniques with their color-changing, leaf-shaped appendages throughout their bodies to reflect their verdant habitat. The Bobbit Worm uses its 5 banded antennae to lure in its prey. Its body is hidden beneath the ocean from prey, and its antennae act as worms to trick prey into moving closer. The Mimic Octopus utilizes its color-changing skin and flexible body to resemble the appearance and movement of poisonous animals in its environment. It can take on the disguise of sea snakes, lionfish, and jellyfish to fool predators.

Bobbit Worm Eunice Aphroditois

by Natalie Pogar The Bobbit Worm, although rumored to have been named after an unfortunate event in the 90’s, is true to have bear-trap jaws and a surreal looking iridescent body. With the Bobbit Worm’s length being 1-3 metres, its… Continue Reading →

Committing Identity Theft with the Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus

by M.B. Physiology The Mimic Octopus is a master of camouflage. They grow to about 60 centimeters long (2 feet), and their natural skin pattern consists of beige and brown bands, although they often display dark brown and white bands… Continue Reading →

Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)

Copyright 2020 R. Rain© *essay work still in progress* Taxonomy:Kingdom: Animalia, Pylum: Chordata, Subphylum: Vertebrata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Carnivora, Infraorder: Pinnipedia, Family: Phocidae, Genus: Phoca, Species: vitulina The Harbor Seal, also known as the Pacific harbor seal or common seal,… Continue Reading →

Octopus Light Sensing Apparatus

By Mary Paiten Madsen There are several key things that are fascinating about how octopuses see the world. Their eyes do not have corneas, relying on other features to protect and hold the iris in place. Despite being notorious for… Continue Reading →

Weedy Sea Dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)

By Yukim Nomoto The Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, also known as the weedy sea dragon or common sea dragon, is part of the Syngnathidae family. Their most recognizable feature is their long, thin snout, which is shared among their taxonomy family members,… Continue Reading →

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