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Carnival all year round

Common to the northern coast of São Paulo State, Hippolyte obliquimanus shrimp have a curious characteristic: they disguise themselves. Biologist Rafael Duarte documented and quantified the dominant color of the habitat and the animals using digital photography, verifying that over the course of just a few days, the pink shrimp (at left, top photo) and brown shrimp (bottom left) changed color according to the algal background in which they found themselves (see BMC Evolutionary Biology, October 18, 2016), adopting a camouflage strategy. Striped, translucent specimens (at right, top and bottom photos) of the so-called carnival shrimp do not appear so given to imaginative guises: not one changed color over the five days of experiments conducted by the Center for Marine Biology of the University of São Paulo (CEBIMar-USP).

Images sent by Rafael Duarte, doctoral candidate at the Ribeirão Preto campus of the University of São Paulo