Be Amazed by the Chatoyement of These Cephalopods

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Chatoyement is a noun meaning “changing or undulating lustre; play of color.”  The word entered the English lexicon in 1816 and is a variant on the adjective chatoyant.  This word is taken from the French chanter which means “to change luster like a cat’s eye.”

When you think of animals that use color changing, cephalopods like octopus, cuttlefish, and squid are top contenders for being chatoyement.  Cephalopods change colors for many reasons: to hide from predators, to hypnotize prey, and to communicate with other cephalopods.  From rapid color changes to pulsating coloring, cephalopods are amazing.  Color changing cells in their skin are controlled by muscles, allowing them to rapidly change color and texture.

This video from the California Science Academy explains are more about the chatoyement of cephalopods.



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