Adaptable night camouflage by cuttlefish
Hanlon, Roger T.
Forsythe, John W.
Watson, Anya C.
MetadataShow full item record
SubjectCrypsis; Concealment; Disruptive coloration; Coincident disruptive coloration; Cephalopod; Sepia apama
Cephalopods are well known for their diverse, quick‐changing camouflage in a wide range of shallow habitats worldwide. However, there is no documentation that cephalopods use their diverse camouflage repertoire at night. We used a remotely operated vehicle equipped with a video camera and a red light to conduct 16 transects on the communal spawning grounds of the giant Australian cuttlefish Sepia apama situated on a temperate rock reef in southern Australia. Cuttlefish ceased sexual signaling and reproductive behavior at dusk and then settled to the bottom and quickly adapted their body patterns to produce camouflage that was tailored to different backgrounds. During the day, only 3% of cuttlefish were camouflaged on the spawning ground, but at night 86% (71 of 83 cuttlefish) were camouflaged in variations of three body pattern types: uniform (n=5), mottled (n=33), or disruptive (n=34) coloration. The implication is that nocturnal visual predators provide the selective pressure for rapid, changeable camouflage patterning tuned to different visual backgrounds at night.
Author Posting. © University of Chicago Press, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of University of Chicago Press for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in American Naturalist 169 (2007): 543–551, doi:10.1086/512106.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The environmental toxicant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin disrupts morphogenesis of the rat pre-implantation embryo Hutt, Karla J.; Shi, Zhanquan; Albertini, David F.; Petroff, Brian K. (BioMed Central, 2008-01-02)Environmental toxicants, whose actions are often mediated through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway, pose risks to the health and well-being of exposed species, including humans. Of particular concern are exposures ...
Approaches for assessing the presence and impact of thyroid hormone disrupting chemicals in delphinid cetaceans Montie, Eric W. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2006-09)Cetacean blubber is a primary site for lipid storage, which the animal utilizes during periods of energetic stress. It is important to understand how the blubber responds to factors such as ontogeny, water temperature, ...
False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) echolocation and acoustic disruption : implications for longline bycatch and depredation Mooney, T. Aran; Pacini, A. F.; Nachtigall, Paul E. (NRC Research Press, 2009-07-31)False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, 1846)) depredate fish caught by the North Pacific pelagic longline fishery, resulting in loss of target species catch and the whales themselves becoming bycaught. This ...