Tuesday, September 26, 2006

 

Study: Squid are masters of disguise (The Royal Society - 'Biology Letters')

U.S. marine scientists say squid are masters of disguise, using their pigmented skin cells to camouflage themselves nearly instantaneously from predators.

Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory say squid can also produce polarized skin patterns by regulating the iridescence of their skin, possibly creating a "hidden communication channel" visible only to animals that are sensitive to polarized light.

Researchers Lydia Mathger and Roger Hanlon say they found the polarized aspect of the skin of the longfin inshore squid, Loligo pealeii, is maintained after passing through the pigment cells responsible for camouflage.
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Based on The Royal Society's 'Biology Letters' paper "Anatomical basis for camouflaged polarized light communication in squid": Abstract | Full Text ('Full Text' may not last forever - email if you have any problems)

Another Mathger and Hanlon paper: "Color blindness and contrast perception in cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) determined by a visual sensorimotor assay" [Colour]

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