Fish-invisible can “disappear” for 2 seconds

Fish-invisible can “disappear” for 2 seconds

Edinoroga fish squad iglobryuhoobraznyh Monacanthus tuckeri has the ability to become invisible.


This small fish inhabits the shallow waters of the Caribbean sea. Ellen Justine (Justine Allen) from brown University, was amazed at how fast fish are able to disguise themselves. In two seconds she manages to change the color of his body and merge with the Horny corals, by which it swims.

Ellen and her team managed to film the process of the “disappearance” on the island of little Cayman in the Caribbean sea. Researchers have also studied in the laboratory the surface of the fish’s body to understand how it is disguised as the environment.

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Monacanthus tuckeri changes color to create a “false shape”. For example, the skin may appear a dark streak, which visually creates a new form of the body and these contours remain unnoticed.

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How a new pattern? Fish gather information about the place where she is. Then the brain sends signals to the pigment-containing skin cells. Depending on the signal, the pigment may concentrate in the center of the cell to paint a smaller area, or, conversely, to fill the cell entirely.

On the skin of fish there are also small protrusions, which are called skin flaps. They make the shape of the body is not so smooth and help the fish to masquerade as coral polyps, algae or clumps of sand. This is misleading not only predators, but also experienced researchers.

The material was prepared by National Geographic Russia.