Biological Aspects of Pigment Cell Research

  • A. C. J. Burgers


An important requisite in the struggle for life of many animals is camouflage. This capacity enables them to hide from predatory enemies or to spy upon their prey unobserved. Numerous invertebrates and nearly all poikilotherm vertebrates have developed this faculty into a fascinating art. These animals are able to adapt the colour of their skin rapidly to that of their environment. In cephalopods such a colour change is achieved within a few seconds; most fishes and some reptiles can change their skin colour in minutes, whereas in crustaceans, elasmobranchs and amphibians this phenomenon may take hours. Less spectacular colour changes are observed in leeches and echinoderms.


Xenopus Laevis Pigment Cell Biological Aspect Colloid Vesicle Swimming Crab 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. J. Burgers
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoological LaboratoryUniversity of UtrechtThe Netherlands

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