Saturday, February 7, 2015


Scientists working with a remote imaging team at National Geographic decided to put camera sweaters - tubes of Lycra-like material - on a few Humboldts to get a squid’s eye view of easily one of their most interesting behavior: Color-flashing communication. Scientists aren’t sure what the squid are trying to say, but they are fairly certain they are communicating with each other. Humboldt squid do this by rapidly squeezing cells in their skin called chromatophores and turning their whole bodies from white to red and back again. This flashing can change speed and direction on the skin in response to all kinds of squid interactions, from mating attempts to displays of aggression. But which patterns the squid show off have yet to be mapped onto some kind of color vocabulary.

Paper: Chromogenic behaviors of the Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas) studied in situ with an animal-borne video package
Journal of Experimental Biology:

Longer video National Geographic Crittercam:

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