Anatomical basis for camouflaged polarized light communication in squid

Discussion in 'Behavior and Intelligence' started by lurker, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. lurker

    lurker Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1834008

    Interesting - what do people here think about it?

     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,887
    Likes Received:
    11
    This is pretty cool work... it matches what I've assumed, but it's good that they thought to check it. I haven't seen a paper that describes exactly how the iridophores produce variable polarization: are they controlled by muscles that swivel them, or something else?
     
  3. lurker

    lurker Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure.... I thought it said something about polarized light being a product of iridescence...

    Could it be that the Cephs are luring prey? Most ceph prey can see polarized light, so maybe they are luring certain kinds?
     
  4. ckeiser

    ckeiser GPO Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    1
    Polarization sensitivity definitely seems to function in communication:
    e.g.
    Boal, et al. 2004. Behavioral evidence for intraspecific signaling with achromatic and polarized light by cuttlefish (Mollusca: Cephalopoda. Behaviour. 141, 837-861.

    and predation on silvery fishes and translucent crustaceans (as light passing through translucent animals can become linearly polarized).

    I think investigating polarized light signaling in coleoids will truly illuminate the complexity in their communication channels. Martin Moynihan thought ceph communication constituted a visual language, but most ceph behaviour researchers disagree, stating the 10-30 body patterns expressed in certain species is insufficient. If there are ritualized polarized light signals in some taxa (S. officinalis, L pealeii, etc.), then the amount of visual signals in a cephs "repertoire" could be much greater than once thought.

    I think polarization sensitivity and chemical communication are the future of ceph intraspecific behaviour studies.
     

Share This Page