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HomescienceRare videos show captive squid changing color to hide in plain sight

Rare videos show captive squid changing color to hide in plain sight


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A team of scientists in Japan Capture a video of a squid wandering around its surroundings, Very similar to octopus and squid Act. While It is known that squid in the wild changes colorScientists conducted an experiment to confirm this camouflage capacity in the laboratory.

Like other cephalopods, cuttlefish have thousands of chromatophores — color-changing cells — under their skin. Chromatophores can swell and contract to They appear darker or brighter, allowing animals to Connect with each other and merge with their surroundings.

The species of oval squid the team studied, Sepioteuthis الدرس LessonThis type of environmental camouflage has never before been observed. A team from the Graduate University of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology held oval squid in captivity and watched the animals change color to match. their tank. The search was published Last week in Scientific Reports.

Ryota Nakajima, a biologist at the University of Minnesota Duluth and lead author of the paper, said at the Okinawa Institute. release. “If a substrate is important for squid to avoid predation, this suggests that an increase or decrease in squid populations is more related to coral health than we thought.”

There are several reasons why scientists don’t know in advance the extent of squid Color changes with their environment. Squid can be difficult to breed in captivity, Unlike octopuses The squid, the squid tends to live in the open ocean, meaning There is not a lot of substrate to mix with.

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The oval squid species the team was studying never showed any evidence of color changing with their environment. According to Michael Fekion, an invertebrate zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution and NOAA, “Related species in the Atlantic, Sepioteuthis sepioidea [the Caribbean reef squid]frequently observed, There were a lot of descriptions about their behaviour, chromatic patterns, etc., but it depends almost entirely on field observations.”

Oval squid.

“As far as I know, it’s the first of its kind [of camouflage] Viccione said it was done under controlled laboratory conditions in a phone call.

In its natural habitat off the coast of Okinawa, the oval squid They are light in color, reflecting the sunlight that flows across the ocean’s surface. But the squid, which was placed in a tank, was able to imitate local surfaces.

When researchers were cleaning squid In the tank, they realized that the animals’ colors change depending on whether they hovered over the algae-covered side of the tank or the clean side..

The researchers then created an experiment so they could document this color change, by making one side of the tank covered with algae and the other side clean. on algae the side, Cephalopods turned dark green, but when Swim to the clean sideIt became semi-transparent.

“This effect is really amazing. Zdeněk Lajbner, a biologist at the Okinawa Institute and co-author of the paper, said at the Institute: release. “It shows how little we know about these wonderful animals.”

frequently overwhelmed her Intelligent And the Cousins ​​of patientsSome squid are finally revealing their secrets, at least in captivity. How these behaviors might be different in the wild is another question that must be explored.

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