Navigation Links
Cuttlefish masters of disguise despite colorblindness

Cuttlefish are wizards of camouflage. Adept at blending in with their surroundings, cuttlefish are known to have a diverse range of body patterns and can switch between them almost instantaneously. New research from MBL Marine Resources scientists, to appear in the May 2006 issue of the journal Vision Research, confirms that while these masters of disguise change their appearance based on visual cues, they do so while being completely colorblind.

While previous research has reported cuttlefish colorblindness, MBL Research Associate Lydia Mäthger and her colleagues in Roger Hanlon's laboratory approached the problem in more depth and with a new behavioral assay. The researchers tested cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) color perception through observing the animal's behavioral response to a series of checkerboard patterned substrates of various colors and brightnesses.

They found that the animals did not respond to the checkerboard pattern when placed on substrates whose color intensities were matched to the Sepia visual system, suggesting that these checkerboards appeared to their eyes as uniform backgrounds. However, their results showed that cuttlefish were able to detect contrast differences of at least 15%, which Mäthger and her colleagues suspect might be a critical factor in uncovering what determines camouflage patterning in cuttlefish.

Despite these results, the vexing question of how cuttlefish master the task of camouflage in low-contrast, color-rich environments such as those found at shallow depths of water, remains to be answered. Mäthger and her colleagues are currently looking at cuttlefish contrast sensitivity in more detail. "Our result that cuttlefish are able to detect contrast differences of at least 15%, is only an upper limit," says Mäthger. "It's certainly not the contrast threshold, which we would like to know. It seems that cuttlefish camouflage themselves by matching intensities of objects in the environment and we're col lecting data to test see whether this is really the case."

In addition to looking at contrast between different objects, Mäthger and her colleagues are testing a variety of other optical clues, in particular, cuttlefish perception of object edges, brightness, and sizes of objects.

Cuttlefish are cephalopods, relatives of octopuses and squid, and are found in all marine habitats worldwide; they are particularly abundant around coral reefs and temperate rock reefs in which the visual habitat is richly varied. Cephalopods can change their appearance with a speed and diversity unparalleled in the animal kingdom. Some squids, octopuses, and cuttlefish can show 30-50 different appearances. Their sophisticated neural control of the skin make cuttlefish an excellent model for studying camouflage.


'"/>

Source:Marine Biological Laboratory


Related biology news :

1. NSAID drug protects against intestinal tumors in mice, despite poor diet and gene losses
2. Fragile US vaccine system needs improvement despite dramatic gains in health over past century
3. Genetic testing still smart choice, despite uncertainties
4. Rhinos clinging to survival in the heart of Borneo, despite poaching
5. Chewing up a key regulator of fat synthesis keeps mice lean despite a high-fat diet
6. Beekeepers work hard for the honey, despite changing tupelo forest
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:5/20/2016)...  VoiceIt is excited to announce its new ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer ... take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration ... usability. Both ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 On Wednesday, ... at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged ... closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on ... ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals ... (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about these stocks ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® ... provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root ... CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced a ... sciences incubator to accelerate the development of new therapies ... QB3@953 was created to help high-potential life science and ... stage organizations - access to laboratory infrastructure. ... "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each winner with one ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... partnership that will allow them to produce up ... (HiPSC) from one lot within one week. These ... their time laboriously preparing cells and spend more ... made possible through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process ...
Breaking Biology Technology: