An amazing video shows how squid change color to camouflage themselves from predators

You must be squid me! Amazing video shows how squid first changes COLOR to disguise themselves from predators – just like octopuses

  • Many cephalopods, including octopuses and cuttlefish, use camouflage
  • This has led researchers to question whether squid exhibit this ability
  • While cleaning their tank, the team watched the squid change color
  • When they were over the algae, the squid seemed dark green, but when they were against a clean aquarium, they changed to a lighter shade

From chameleons to octopuses, many animals are famous for using camouflage to hide from predators.

Now the squid have been filmed for the first time using the same techniques.

Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology noticed a species of oval squid that changes color to blend in with its background when sensed that a predator may be nearby.

“This effect is really amazing. I’m still surprised that no one noticed this ability in us, “said Dr. Zdenek Leibner, the study’s lead author.

“It shows how little we know about these wonderful animals.”

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology noticed a species of oval squid that changes color to blend in with its background when sensed that a predator may be nearby.

Camouflage in the animal world

Many animals have developed camouflage techniques, making it difficult for predators (or prey) to spot them.

A common example is the snow hare, which has a shiny white color that merges with its snowy surroundings. The animal has an excellent ability to produce in summer wool of a different color, to merge with the changing terrain.

Insect sticks have developed another method, changing their shape to resemble their habitat – twigs.

Octopuses can change both color and texture to blend in with the seabed and rocky outcrops.

Predators are also involved in the action, with tiger stripes and sandy lion hues helping them blend in with the forest and meadow respectively.

Many cephalopods, including octopuses and cuttlefish, use camouflage, which has led researchers to question whether squid also show this ability.

“Squid usually hover in the open ocean, but we wanted to find out what happens when they approach a coral reef or when a predator chases them to the bottom of the ocean,” explained Dr. Ruta Nakadima, one of the presenters. researchers.

Since 2017, researchers have been cultivating an oval squid species known locally as Shiro-ika, at its research center on Okinawa.

While cleaning the algae removal tank, the researchers accidentally noticed the squid changing color.

When they were over the algae, the squid seemed dark green, but when they were against a clean aquarium, they changed to a lighter shade.

After initial observation, the researchers conducted a controlled experiment to verify their findings.

Several squid were kept in the aquarium until half was cleaned and the other half was covered with algae.

An underwater camera was placed inside the tank, and a conventional camera was suspended above it, which allowed to shoot animals from two sides.

The footage confirmed their initial observations – when the squid were on the clean side, they were light in color, but quickly became darker when over algae.

While cleaning the aquarium to remove algae, researchers accidentally noticed how the squid changes color

While cleaning the aquarium to remove algae, researchers accidentally noticed how the squid changes color

When they were over the algae, the squid seemed dark green, but when they were against a clean aquarium, they changed to a lighter shade

When they were over the algae, the squid seemed dark green, but when they were against a clean aquarium, they changed to a lighter shade

While these findings are fascinating since they were first seen in camouflage, they may also have important implications for coral reefs, according to researchers.

“If the substrate is important for squid to avoid predation, then it suggests that increasing or decreasing the squid population is even more related to the health of the coral reef than we thought,” Dr. Nakadima explained.

Now the team hopes to study the squid further to better understand their camouflage abilities.

Professor Jonathan Miller, senior author of the study, concluded: “We look forward to further exploring the camouflage capabilities of this species and cephalopods in general.”

CAMOUFLAGE METHODS used by both plants and animals

Plants may seem passive, but they disguise themselves just like animals, studies have shown.

Mixing in the background helps the plants protect themselves from predators and has the same benefits as the technique for the animals.

They use a variety of tricks, including looks as unimportant items such as stones.

Background match – is a mixture with the colors of the forms of habitat where they live.

Destructive coloring – markings that create the appearance of false edges and borders, which complicates the consideration of the true contour.

Masquerade – looks like something else; usually something that a predator can ignore, such as a stone or twig.

Examples include living stones, some cacti, passion vines and mistletoe.

Decoration – accumulation of material from the environment.

For example, some coastal and dune plants are covered with sand because of their sticky glands, making them less noticeable to the shape of the habitat where they live.

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