A new study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has shed some light (oh… ZING!) on how squids may use another organ, along with their eyes, to see.

Some squids have a light organ on them which they use to camoflauge themselves from predators below them. The organ is filled with a luminous bateria that the squid can activate to light up. The idea is that the squids can illuminate their organs to match the light coming from the surface of the water, thus confusing a rising, hungry fish or giant crab monsters recently loose from attacking deep sea oil drilling stations.

By studying the molecules of this organ, however, researchers have discovered that it is both capable of emitting AND registering light from the environment. It contains a protein also found in the squids’ eyes that is used to “see” light.


Are you made of star dust? Because your light is registering in my organ.

The scientists are speculating that the organ may use these proteins to register the surface light and then match the baterial glow to it in order to best camoflauge the squid. They are also enthusiastic that it will shed light on the “mechanisms of controlling and perceiving light.” What a nice way to justify your grant research money.


  1. #1 ym
    June 2, 2009


  2. #2 alan
    June 3, 2009


  3. #3 Ranson
    June 4, 2009

    One-Word Superlative!


  4. #4 Pat
    June 4, 2009

    I totally adore squid and cuttlefish. They are amazing, almost angelic creatures. 😀

  5. #5 Michael Bok
    June 4, 2009

    Citation please?

  6. #6 Hiphop
    June 17, 2009

    One-Word Superlative!

  7. #7 cet
    July 1, 2009

    Jerry, What a small world! That’s incredible. Hopefully our paths will cross again (and more explicitly) one day… Best wishes kerizzzz

  8. #8 adult
    December 10, 2010

    Something, other than the undeniable beauty of this fish, kept bothering me about this photo.

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