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Data from: Open water camouflage via 'leaky' light guides in the midwater squid Galiteuthis


Holt, Amanda L.; Sweeney, Alison M. (2017), Data from: Open water camouflage via 'leaky' light guides in the midwater squid Galiteuthis, Dryad, Dataset,


Galiteuthis, a midwater squid, has photophores on the ventral surfaces of its eyes. These photophores emit bioluminescence to counter-illuminate the shadows cast by the eyes in downwelling sunlight, thereby hiding the eyes from upward-looking predators. The photophores consist of laminated fibre-like cells with semi-coaxial protein-dense layers around axial cytoplasm. These cells have been suggested to function as light guides: bioluminescence is an isotropic process used to hide in an anisotropic light environment, so any emission must be reshaped to be effective. We found a wide variation in cross-sectional geometries of photophore cells; some were more efficient at light guiding than others. We used a set of optical models to place these photophores in the context of the radiance where Galiteuthis lives and discovered a possible adaptive reason for this variation. In Galiteuthis's horizontal and vertical range, ocean radiance is also quite variable. For complete camouflage, photophores must reproduce this variation in radiance using an isotropic source. Our models show that variation in the geometry of the photophore light guides reproduces the predicted variation in ocean radiance experienced by this species. By selectively activating geometrically distinct populations of photophore cells, the animal may reproduce the angular distribution of light at all positions in its habitat.

Usage Notes


Pacific Ocean