/ Modified may 1, 2010 2:24 a.m.

NOVA Kings of Camouflage

NOVA voyages beneath the waves to meet a bizarre but remarkable creature. It has eight sucker-covered arms growing out of its head, three hearts pumping its blue blood and a doughnut-shaped brain. Thursday, August 14th 10pm KUAT6

A Broadclub cuttlefish hunting display

Kings of Camouflage begins by introducing NOVA viewers to the elusive Broadband cuttlefish, known for its particularly flashy light shows. To discern what makes a cuttlefish switch on its colors, marine biologists present the animals with various lures, including small crabs and a toy lobster. NOVA then introduces viewers to several other kinds of cuttlefish - including the tiny Flamboyant. The size of an egg, this cuttlefish walks rather than swims.

A giant male cuttlefish

Next, Kings of Camouflage moves to the Giant Australian cuttlefish. Off the south coast of Australia, groups of them congregate to breed every autumn. This is a gathering of brawn, brains and sneaky tactics. Smaller males, who cannot compete physically with their larger counterparts, have developed a cunning way to reach a desired mate: They "dress up" as females. They pull in their arms, change their colors to a mottled pattern and glide by the larger males. According to Dr. Hanlon, the picky Giant females respond well to the cross-dressing trick. Once the female mimic swims underneath and finds the female, he often as not successfully mates with her.

See previews and find out more at pbs.org

Watch it on Thursday, August 14th at 10pm on KUAT6

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