And now, the squid has been captured on camera using the same techniques for the first time.
Researchers from the Graduate University of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology discovered a species of oval squid that changes color to blend in with its background when it senses a predator nearby.
“I am still amazed that no one has observed this ability before us,” said Dr. Zdenek Labner, the study’s first author. It shows how little we know about these wonderful animals.
Amazing video shows squid changing COLOUR to camouflage itself from predators for the first time https://t.co/lvrkrPb6C2
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) April 5, 2022
Many cephalopods, including octopuses, use camouflage, leading researchers to wonder if squids display this ability as well.
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Dr Ryota Nakajima, one of the research leaders, explained: “Squids usually hover in the open ocean, but we wanted to know what happens when you get a little closer to the reef or if a predator chases them to the ocean floor.”
Since 2017, researchers have been growing a type of oval squid known locally as Shiro-ika at their research facility in Okinawa.
While cleaning their tank to remove the algae, the researchers mistakenly noticed that the squid was changing colour.
When it was above the algae, the squid appeared in a dark green color, but when it appeared in the clean aquarium, it turned into a lighter shade.
After the initial observation, the researchers conducted a controlled experiment to verify their results.
Several squid were kept in a tank, while half were cleaned, leaving the other half covered with algae.
An underwater camera was placed inside the aquarium, while a regular camera was hung above it, allowing them to photograph the animals from two angles.
The footage confirmed their initial observations – when the squid was on the clean side, it was light in color, but quickly turned darker when it was on top of the algae.
While the findings are exciting, as they represent the first time that camouflaged squid have been seen, they may also have important implications for coral reefs, according to the researchers.
The team now hopes to study the squid further to understand more about its camouflage capabilities.
Source: Daily Mail