Short John Silver November 9, 2007 6:01 PM

“possibly making it less noticeable from below”

Noooooo! It’s for cruising along just above the seafloor late at night, with the boombox in its ass pumped up so high that the corals crumble!

Gretchen November 9, 2007 8:18 PM

I’m serious. I thought you were too busy to post one and I was disappointed! You don’t realize how much you take for granted the little pleasures of your life until they aren’t there.

Chris S November 10, 2007 1:33 AM

Hatchetfish use a similar trick. These pictures are ok, but even better would be pictures from below. I’ve seen video, and it is extremely cool – parts of the hatchetfish almost disappear into the glow from above. With the silhouette broken up, predators have a much harder time finding the fish. This appears to be a “night” photo of this squid.

Interestingly, tests of this were done by the military years ago (without knowing about either the squid or the hatchetfish, I expect) by painting and lighting the bottom of aircraft to match the illumination from the sky. Even vehicles that might be skylined on a ridge can be camouflaged with lighting to match the sky behind them.

Juergen November 10, 2007 3:11 AM

This kind of counter illumination is common for deep see squid, they are quite good at it. They match the wave length of the blue light deep in the water and even regulate the intensity based on the amount of light coming down
(see Cephalopod Behaviour by Hanlon and Messenger).

The unusual thing about this squid is that it uses different proteins for reflecting the light.

Terry Cloth November 10, 2007 10:18 AM

@Short John Silver:

Close, but no boom box. They’re using the luminescence as a flashlight to search the bottom for food.

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