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Octopus And Kin Inspire New Camouflage Strategies For Military Applications

Date:
November 19, 2007
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Researchers are studying the remarkable shape- and color-changing abilities of the octopus and its close relatives in an effort to understand one of nature's most remarkable feats of camouflage and self-preservation. Eventually, such knowledge could lead to new and improved camouflage strategies for military applications.

Octopus emerges from concealment.
Credit: Roger Hanlon, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass

Researchers are studying the remarkable shape- and color-changing abilities of the octopus and its close relatives in an effort to understand one of nature's most remarkable feats of camouflage and self-preservation.

Eventually, such knowledge could lead to new and improved camouflage strategies for military applications, according to an article scheduled for publication in Chemical & Engineering News.

In the article, C&EN associate editor Bethany Halford points out that cephalopods, which include octopus, squid, and cuttlefish, are experts in the art of camouflage and renowned for their ability to make themselves look like fish, rocks, coral and other objects in an effort to hide from predators.

By studying the various layers of skin of these creatures, particularly the chemicals in these layers that are behind their color transitions, scientists hope to develop similar camouflage strategies.

In the article, Halford describes the specialized skin cells involved in the creatures' color transformations, including the leucophore layer, which serves as a veritable base coat, another layer with chromatophores that are filled with pigments, and yet another layer sporting iridophores that reflect light in curious ways.

The journal article, "Hide and Seek: Cephalopod camouflage inspires materials research," is scheduled for publication November 12 in C&EN.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Octopus And Kin Inspire New Camouflage Strategies For Military Applications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112091852.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2007, November 19). Octopus And Kin Inspire New Camouflage Strategies For Military Applications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112091852.htm
American Chemical Society. "Octopus And Kin Inspire New Camouflage Strategies For Military Applications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112091852.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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