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Type: Journal article
Title: Adaptable night camouflage by cuttlefish
Author: Hanlon, Roger T.
Naud, Marie-Jose
Forsythe, John W.
Hall, Karina Christine
Watson, Anya C.
McKechnie, Joy
Citation: American Naturalist, 2007; 169(4):543-551
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 0003-0147
School/Discipline: School of Molecular and Biomedical Science
Statement of
Roger T. Hanlon, Marie-José Naud, John W. Forsythe, Karina Hall, Anya C. Watson and Joy McKechnie
Abstract: Cephalopods are well known for their diverse, quickchanging 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 (np5), mottled (np33), or disruptive (np34) coloration. The implication is that nocturnal visual predators provide the selective pressure for rapid, changeable camouflage patterning tuned to different visual backgrounds at night.
Keywords: crypsis ; concealment ; disruptive coloration ; coincident disruptive coloration ; cephalopod ; Sepia apama
Provenance: Electronically published February 12, 2007
Rights: Copyright © 2007 by The University of Chicago.
RMID: 0020070369
DOI: 10.1086/512106
Appears in Collections:Molecular and Biomedical Science publications

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