Teacher’s Questions for Blending In


Before reading:

1. What are some advantages to visually blending in with your surroundings? What are some disadvantages to blending in?

2. Give some examples of ways that people try to blend in with their surroundings.

3. Give some examples of ways that animals try to blend in with their surroundings.

During reading:

1. Describe three things about cuttlefish. Also, what other types of animals are they related to? How are they different from some of those animals?

2. What body part do scientists think might not be involved — surprisingly — in cuttlefish camouflage?

3. What is opsin? Where is it typically found in most animals? What role does it play in cuttlefish camouflage?

4. What are chromatophores and how do they help a cuttlefish blend in?

5. The ability to sense light serves what purposes other than vision, or seeing objects?

6. Briefly describe three uses for the e-skin, or e-wallpaper, that Rogers and Baraniuk are working on.

7. How would an e-skin applied to a wall and used as a spy cam alter the wall’s appearance?

8. How would an e-skin applied to the outside of a building alter its appearance?

After reading:

1. Can you think of a few more uses for an electronic skin that can change its pattern and color?

2. How could automatically blending in — that is, without thinking about it — not be a good thing sometimes?

3. Why do you think the U.S. Navy is studying the science of cuttlefish camouflage? Does that sound to you like a good use of research funds? Explain your answer.


1. Do you think the benefits of devices that can hide in plain sight outweigh any potential problems they might cause? Explain your answer.