To be seen or to hide : visual characteristics of body patterns for camouflage and communication in the Australian giant cuttlefish Sepia apama


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dc.contributor.author Zylinski, S.
dc.contributor.author How, M. J.
dc.contributor.author Osorio, D.
dc.contributor.author Hanlon, Roger T.
dc.contributor.author Marshall, N. J.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-23T20:15:22Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-06T08:32:28Z
dc.date.issued 2011-04-06
dc.identifier.citation American Naturalist 177 (2011): 681-690 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/4616
dc.description Author Posting. © University of Chicago, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of University of Chicago for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in American Naturalist 177 (2011): 681-690, doi:10.1086/659626. en_US
dc.description.abstract It might seem obvious that a camouflaged animal must generally match its background whereas to be conspicuous an organism must differ from the background. However, the image parameters (or statistics) that evaluate the conspicuousness of patterns and textures are seldom well defined, and animal coloration patterns are rarely compared quantitatively with their respective backgrounds. Here we examine this issue in the Australian giant cuttlefish Sepia apama. We confine our analysis to the best-known and simplest image statistic, the correlation in intensity between neighboring pixels. Sepia apama can rapidly change their body patterns from assumed conspicuous signaling to assumed camouflage, thus providing an excellent and unique opportunity to investigate how such patterns differ in a single visual habitat. We describe the intensity variance and spatial frequency power spectra of these differing body patterns and compare these patterns with the backgrounds against which they are viewed. The measured image statistics of camouflaged animals closely resemble their backgrounds, while signaling animals differ significantly from their backgrounds. Our findings may provide the basis for a set of general rules for crypsis and signals. Furthermore, our methods may be widely applicable to the quantitative study of animal coloration. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship S.Z. was supported by a Case award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and QinetiQ and is currently supported by Office of Naval Research (ONR) grant N00014-09-1-1053. R.T.H. received partial support from ONR grant N0001406-1- 0202. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Chicago en_US
dc.relation.haspart http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8527
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/659626
dc.subject Camouflage en_US
dc.subject Communication en_US
dc.subject Signaling en_US
dc.subject Image structure en_US
dc.subject Cephalopods en_US
dc.subject Vision en_US
dc.title To be seen or to hide : visual characteristics of body patterns for camouflage and communication in the Australian giant cuttlefish Sepia apama en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1086/659626

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