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Michael Pratt

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Flickr user: Brent Moore

Fake masculinity on demand. At first, this seems like a case of neat science. Many species of cephalopods have the ability to change coloration on demand, and some researchers have found a species of squid where the females have three stripes running down their mantles. The interesting bit is that they use two different mechanisms for controlling the color changes of these stripes. The weird bit is why they change color: the authors suspect that the stripes can make a female look like it's a male. That can keep males from trying to mate with it, which may be helpful if the female already has mated.

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