Cephalopods—the group of animals that includes octopus, squid, and cuttlefish—are well known for their incredible color-changing abilities. But these creatures have also played a vital role in our evolving understanding of the human nervous system, says Jade Zee, who directs Northeastern’s program in behavioral neuroscience.
Type “cephalopod camouflage” into YouTube and be prepared to gasp. Cephalopods—which include octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish—can change their color, shape, and texture to blend in with their background. “They are charismatic and very smart,” said Dan Distel, director of Northeastern’s Ocean Genome Legacy Center. “They’re the most intelligent invertebrates, as far as we know.”