The stone flounder, like many flounders, possesses a fascinating feature known as chromatophores, specialized skin cells that hold pigments capable of changing the skin’s appearance. These remarkable cells respond to messages from the brain, allowing the flounder to adapt to its surroundings. When stone flounders swim near the water’s surface to forage, their skin becomes nearly transparent, aiding in avoiding predators lurking below. In contrast, when they venture close to the seabed, their skin can mimic the various colors and textures of the ocean floor. They are adept at resembling sand one moment and a rocky bottom the next, a survival strategy based on their environment.
In a fascinating experiment, a scientist placed a flounder against a checkerboard pattern to observe its abilities. Astonishingly, in less than a minute, the flounder’s body began to imitate the black and white squares of the gameboard, showcasing the stone flounder’s incredible adaptability and camouflage skills, which are vital for both evading predators and ambushing prey.