Navigation Links
For deep-sea cephalopods, 'switchable' camouflage saves the day
Date:11/10/2011

For animals living in the deep sea, it seems that there is no such thing as all-occasion camouflage. Under diffuse light conditions, it's generally best to be transparent. But in the deeper ocean, where predators are equipped with special organs that function as searchlights, it's much better to go in darker colors. That's according to a report published online on November 10 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

Sarah Zylinski and Snke Johnsen of Duke University show that two species of cephalopodthe octopus Japetella heathi and the squid Onychoteuthis banksiienjoy the best of both worlds. They rely on special cells called chromatophores to rapidly switch from transparency to a dull red color as optical conditions around them change.

"The boundary between environments where one or the other strategy would be most useful is neither sharp nor fixed, changing with factors such as time of day, cloud cover, and turbidity," the researchers wrote. "Being able to switch between strategies in response to specific threats or changing optical conditions would be highly advantageous to an animal seeking to survive in this unique environment."

The discovery was made in shipboard experiments of animals obtained from ocean trawls in the Peru-Chile Trench and Sea of Cortez, with light responses captured on video. The researchers say the study represents the first time to their knowledge that anyone has carried out such ecologically relevant behavioral studies of chromatophore use in cephalopods.

"Survival in the deep sea depends on seeing others without being seen yourself," explain Michael Land and Daniel Colao Osorio in an accompanying Dispatch. "There is a problem with the transparency strategy that does not seem immediately obvious. Biological tissues, even if unpigmented, vary slightly in refractive index, which means that the interfaces between them, and the interface with the water outside, produce slight reflectionsThe ability to expand chromatophores on a time scale of about a second from dot-like structures to comprehensive body covering is a strategy available to most cephalopods, and this is put to good use here to switch from one form of camouflage to a slightly better one."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lisa Lyons
elyons@cell.com
617-386-2121
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
2. New deep-sea observatory goes live
3. New deep-sea coral discovered on NOAA-supported mission
4. Elephant shark genome sequence leads to discovery of color perception in deep-sea fish
5. New deep-sea coral discovered on NOAA-supported mission
6. Deep-sea rocks point to early oxygen on Earth
7. Research institutes from Bremen install new Arctic deep-sea observatory
8. New robot travels across the seafloor to monitor the impact of climate change on deep-sea ecosystems
9. More deep-sea vents discovered
10. Shallow-water shrimp tolerates deep-sea conditions
11. Study: Rare deep-sea starfish stuck in juvenile body plan
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, 2017 ... ... Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at http://www.nxt-id.com  under ... http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a ... report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on ... covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... IN (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... the Rocky Mountain Hobby-Expo in Denver, Colorado October 28 and 29, 2017, to ... the event is to promote participation in different hobbies, including but not limited ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Dr. Greg Leyer, Chief Scientific Officer of UAS ... His presentation is at 12:10pm in the Probiotics Resource Center, Mandalay Bay Expo Hall. ... and discuss how probiotics have shown impressive data in areas outside the gut including ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... PA and London UK (PRWEB) , ... September ... ... DrugDev , a QuintilesIMS company, who enable the world’s most progressive pharma ... from over 2,000 clinical trials at top pharma and biotech events in Q4. ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... DIEGO, CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... earlier this month. The organization, a worldwide society of professional women with high ... venue to hold its annual dinner. , Twelve members began with an ...
Breaking Biology Technology: