Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Squid Skin Reveals Hidden Messages

Date:
September 22, 2006
Source:
Marine Biological Laboratory
Summary:
In research published today in the journal Biology Letters, MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) researchers Lydia Mäthger and Roger Hanlon present evidence that the polarized aspect of the skin of the longfin inshore squid, Loligo pealeii, is maintained after passing through the pigment cells responsible for camouflage.

In research published in the journal Biology Letters, MBL researchers Lydia Mäthger and Roger Hanlon present evidence that the polarized aspect of the skin of the longfin inshore squid, Loligo pealeii, is maintained after passing through the pigment cells responsible for camouflage.
Credit: Image courtesy of Marine Biological Laboratory

In the animal world, squid are masters of disguise. Pigmented skin cells enable them to camouflage themselves—almost instantaneously—from predators. Squid 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.

Related Articles


In research published today in the journal Biology Letters, MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) researchers Lydia Mäthger and Roger Hanlon present evidence that the polarized aspect of the skin of the longfin inshore squid, Loligo pealeii, is maintained after passing through the pigment cells responsible for camouflage.

While the notion that a few animals produce polarization signals and use them in communication is not new, Mäthger and Hanlon’s findings present the first anatomical evidence for a “hidden communication channel” that can remain masked by typical camouflage patterns. Their results suggest that it might be possible for squid to send concealed polarized signals to one another while staying camouflaged to fish or mammalian predators, most of which do not have polarization vision.

Mäthger notes that these messages could contain information regarding the whereabouts of other squid, for example. “Whether signals could also contain information regarding the presence of predators (i.e., a warning signal) is speculation, but it may be possible,” she adds.

Mäthger and Hanlon maintain that the mechanism behind the transmission of polarized light through squid pigment cells warrants further study. Likewise, investigation of this masked polarization signaling system in squid and other cephalopods in natural environments would provide insight into animal camouflage mechanisms and may uncover similar examples in other species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Marine Biological Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Marine Biological Laboratory. "Squid Skin Reveals Hidden Messages." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920191616.htm>.
Marine Biological Laboratory. (2006, September 22). Squid Skin Reveals Hidden Messages. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920191616.htm
Marine Biological Laboratory. "Squid Skin Reveals Hidden Messages." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920191616.htm (accessed January 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) — Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins