Squid May Alter Body Coloration to Communicate with Others

Many squid are able to change the appearance of their skin in order to camouflage themselves when they encounter predators. It's been suggested that the polarization of light on the skin of squid may be a form of communication. Now, for the first time, researchers have uncovered evidence for this property among the longfin inshore squid:

While the notion that a few animals produce polarization signals and use them in communication is not new, Mäthger and Hanlon’s findings present the first anatomical evidence for a “hidden communication channel” that can remain masked by typical camouflage patterns. Their results suggest that it might be possible for squid to send concealed polarized signals to one another while staying camouflaged to fish or mammalian predators, most of which do not have polarization vision.

Mäthger notes that these messages could contain information regarding the whereabouts of other squid, for example. “Whether signals could also contain information regarding the presence of predators (i.e., a warning signal) is speculation, but it may be possible,” she adds.

Link via Make | Photo (unrelated) via Flickr user Sharife used under Creative Commons license

Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

Agreed- I fail to see the news in this- Some decade or more back at our local aquarium there was an exhibition about octopusses, squids, catfish and there they explained about the complex and highly sophisticated means of communication these creatures had by way of their body coloration and even several confirmed deciphered messages they had seen in one species.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Squid May Alter Body Coloration to Communicate with Others"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More