Thursday, October 29, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Deep-sea squid 'talk' in the dark by glowing

Posted on Monday, 6 April, 2020 | Comment icon 0 comments

There is still much we don't know about the Humboldt squid. Image Credit: NOAA / MBARI 2006
The Humboldt squid has evolved a novel solution to the problem of communicating in the depths of the ocean.
Found up to 2,300ft beneath the surface of the eastern Pacific Ocean, the Humboldt squid can grow up to 1.5 meters in length and typically travels in large groups of up to 1,200 individuals.

One of their most fascinating traits is their ability to produce dazzling bioluminescent displays using special pigment cells called chromatophores.

Such displays serve as a means of communication between individuals, however it has long remained unclear exactly how the squid are able to see each other in the darkness at such depths.

Now a new study by Ben Burford of Stanford University and Bruce Robison of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has shed new light on the mystery by showing that the squid have special bioluminescent light organs called photophores that effectively serve as a backlight.
"Humboldt squids have small aggregations of luminescent tissue - little dots sprinkled throughout their muscles," said Burford. "Instead of projecting light outwards, what these photophores do is radiate light within the body tissue. They make the whole animal glow."

By using a remote-operated vehicle to study the squid in their natural habitat, the researchers found that the cephalopods used their own bioluminescent 'language', is it were, to communicate.

One example of this - a distinctive 'flickering' - could be seen while the squid hunted down prey.

"It's like turn signaling in traffic," said Burford. "Driving is dangerous, being a Humboldt squid in a group is dangerous and you've got to signal to tell people what you're going to do and that they shouldn't mess with you while you're doing it."

Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (0)

Tags: Squid

Recent comments on this story

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


AC/DC once tried to find the Loch Ness Monster
The rock band's members once attempted an impromptu Nessie hunt on the banks of Scotland's famous loch.
Theater wants you to become its resident ghost
A historic theater in Canada is offering one fan the opportunity to haunt the building after they pass on.
Firm invents nuclear thermal propulsion engine
A new type of propulsion system is being developed that could significantly reduce the time it takes to reach Mars.
Coral 'skyscraper' discovered off Australia
The remarkable 'detached' coral reef is the first of its kind to be discovered in more than 120 years.
Stories & Experiences
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
Grim reaper-like visitation
6-16-2020 | Canada
My monster catfish story
6-15-2020 | Dallas texas
Orb of light in room
5-9-2020 | USA/Texas/Waco
Not sleeping alone
5-9-2020 | Los Angeles

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ