10 Animals that Change Their Color - and How They Do It

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3. Crab Spider

I’m wearing yellow today!

The misumena vatia crab spider cozies up in yellow marigold flowers. They also like to hang out on the white petals of the hedge bindweed. How do they manage to go unnoticed? On the yellow marigold petals, the crab spider turns yellow by pumping yellow pigment into its cells. If it crawls on white petals, the yellow pigment is returned to the inside of the body and excreted. This can take a few hours, but the effort is clearly worth it.

Crab Spider Crab Spider - Photo: Henrik Larsson/Shutterstock

Crab Spider Crab Spider - Photo: Henrik Larsson/Shutterstock

2. Egyptian Vulture

Warning: this is gross!

Egyptian vulture females find a yellow face on their males very charming. The yellower the better - so Egyptian vultures eat cow, sheep and goat droppings to make sure their faces go lovely and yellow. But the droppings are full of intestinal parasites and can have nasty consequences for the vultures. Biologists think that the females like the color yellow as it shows that the males are healthy despite the parasites.

1. Ribbon Eel

Blue today, yellow tomorrow

Or: male today, female tomorrow. From a length of 95cm, the bright blue male will turn into a yellow female.

Ribbon Eel Ribbon Eel - Photo: Stubblefield Photography/Shutterstock

Ribbon Eel Ribbon Eel - Photo: Stubblefield Photography/Shutterstock