Animal Therapy // January
In December, we’d already done a color-changing edition. However, this Animal Therapy edition takes a look at animals who can change their skin color! Take a look at these masters of camouflage. Perhaps you’ll learn a thing or two about hiding ;)
Studies have shown that interacting with animals can increase people's level of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin helps us feel happy and trusting. Oxytocin has some powerful effects for us in the body's ability to be in a state of readiness to heal, and also to grow new cells, so it predisposes us to an environment in our own bodies where we can be healthier.
Happy Animal Therapy Wednesday! Here's a dose of animal therapy pictures to break the week with a little peak!
Perhaps the most famous example of a color-changing animal and probably also one of the firsts we learned at primary school, the Chameleon is a beautiful color-changer. The change in their skin color depends on their mood, temperature, and the light and though it is the most well-known color-changer, the Chameleon is not the fastest: it takes a few minutes to fully take on another hue!
GOLDEN TORTOISE BEETLE
Usually found in North America, the Golden Tortoise Beetle is also known as the Golden Bug. When threatened or while copulating, the Golden Tortoise Beetle immediately changes into a goldish orange/scarlet hue. The red hue tricks predators into believing that the beetle is poisonous.
PACIFIC TREE FROG
Also living mostly in North America, the Pacific Tree Frog is another magical color shifter. Found in many different colors, such as red, brown, and green, the Pacific Tree Frog can also change its hue according to the environment making it again difficult for the predators to spot them. A real life-savior this color-shifting isn’t it?
In some cases the color-shifting mechanism is not life-threatening. Unlike the previous mentioned animals, the Flower Spider or the Crab Spider changes its color not to hide from predators but to prey! Thanks to the reflection of the light, the Flower Spider can change into the color of the plant or the flower that it sits on. Invisible, the spider patiently waits for its prey.
The ocean’s most elegant fish, the seahorse is another color changer. It can adjust their color, texture, and pattern to its background as easily as one, two, three. Imagine being able to choose any color you’d want to be, what would you choose?
So, the mentioned animals are either using their color-shifting ability to prey or to defend themselves. The genius Cuttlefish combines both playing the roll of both predator and prey.
Naturally brown in color, the Peacock Flounder can change its color according to its habitat. The retina of the Peacock Flounder in combination with certain hormones sends pigment-modifying signals to their skin cells enabling them to change colors in just a few seconds!
The Mimic Octopus can spice things up a little by not only changing its color to adapt to its surroundings but also by changing its shape. The Mimic Octopus mimics various sea animals such as a lion fish, stingray, sea snake, or even a piece of floating coral. As they imitate these animals, they can also take on the color of these animals.
NORTH PACIFIC GIANT OCTOPUS
Though the huge size of the North Pacific Giant Octopus is more commonly known, it can in fact also change its color to hide from predators!