10 Animals That Can Change Color

From the smallest to the biggest, there are species in the animal kingdom that can change their skin coloring not only for camouflage but for other important reasons.

Many animal species have the ability to protect themselves from predators as well as help them catch their prey by deception called camouflage. A chosen few even have the remarkable capability to change color to help them attract mates, to communicate with other members, or simply to express their mood.


Janolus sp by Stephen Childs.

image by Stephens Child via Flickr cc

These snails without shells are some of the most colorful and intricately patterned and shaped creatures on the planet. Their predators better not be fooled by their fascinating “look at me” appearance as they can taste awful or is poisonous. The nudibranchs colorings, which help in camouflage, depend on the food they eat. (Read more about them here)


They are bony fish without the scales. While their relatives swim horizontally, seahorses swim upright, and very poorly, with the help of their dorsal and pectoral fins. They are called “the chameleons of the sea” as they can change color as a response to many different environmental factors including: stress (they may darken), social interactions (their colors often brighten during courtship), temperature, disease, diet and also to blend with their immediate surroundings.

Sea horse by Silvain de Munck.

image by Silvain de munck via Flickr cc


Nekton Rorqual 2009, Peacock Flounder smile by divemasterking2000.

image by divemasterking2000 via Flickr cc

Flounders hide in the sand by changing color to match their surroundings. Upon hatching, a young flounder swims upright just like any normal fish. It also has two eyes located on each side of its head. As it becomes an adult, one eye migrates to the other side facing upwards as a process of metamorphosis.


Hooded Cuttlefish by prilfish.

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13 Responses to “10 Animals That Can Change Color”
  1. S A JOHNSON Says...

    On August 1, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Very cool article!

  2. drishti8 Says...

    On August 1, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Never knew about some of them. Thanks for the list.

  3. Likha Says...

    On August 1, 2010 at 11:14 am

    The wonders of God’s creation.. I wonder how we would look if humans changed colors. Gusto ko pink. Hehe..

  4. Brenda Nelson Says...

    On August 1, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    People too…. especially on a sunny day!

  5. Anuradha Ramkumar Says...

    On August 1, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I was under the impression that only chameleons change color. Wow…

  6. Eunice Tan Says...

    On August 1, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    These animal are amazing.

  7. giftarist Says...

    On August 3, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Awesome. An interesting post, friend.

  8. papaleng Says...

    On August 3, 2010 at 9:29 am

    madalang ka lang mag-post pero, ganda naman. Loke it much JK.

  9. K Kristie Says...

    On August 4, 2010 at 11:14 pm


  10. Brewed Coffee Says...

    On December 1, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Have same thoughts as Likha. Just imagine us humans changing color…green with envy, red with anger, blue with sadness….interesting no? There are lovely and colorful animals. :-)

  11. Gilberto Says...

    On February 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    There isnt even ten animals

  12. edwin Says...

    On March 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    estan chidas los anomales

  13. Kirsten Says...

    On May 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I’d actually be quite happy if people changed colours with their mood. Then you’d always know what men were thinking and they wouldn’t be able to be the dirty rotten lying scuzzbags they are.

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