Cephalopod Light Show
Chromatophores are specialized cells which produce pigments found in the dermal layer that are stored in compartments, called chromatosomes. Light is transmitted through this pigmented tissue through selective absorption and reflection through boundary layers. The cephalopod chromataphore is a multicellular organ comprised of muscles and nerves as well as the pigment. In the relaxed state the chromataphores are folded, hiding any color. When excited, the redial muscles contract and the diameter of the chromatophore dramatically increases and flattens revealing the pigment compartments. Scientists of Backyard Brains, a company that exposes and engages kids to concepts in neuroscience through compelling and hands-on experiments, utilized this adaptation to meld nature, science and rock-and-roll. Using a suction electrode attached the nerve in the upper side of a Longfin Inshore squid’s caudal fin, these scientists exposed the squid to tunes on their iPod. Neural stimulation from the music caused squid to light up! Watch the magic happen below.
(No squid were injured in the making of this video)
I want to thank Dr. Jeffrey Ihara, my BIO 202 professor at Mira Costa College, for sharing the article.
Read it for yourself: See What Happens When a Squid Listens to Hip Hop
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