Cuttlefish use polarization sensitivity in predation on silvery fish

Nadav Shashar, Roland Hagan, Jean G. Boal, Roger T. Hanlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cephalopods are sensitive to the linear polarization characteristics of light. To examine if this polarization sensitivity plays a role in the predatory behavior of cuttlefish, we examined the preference of Sepia officinalis when presented with fish whose polarization reflection was greatly reduced versus fish whose polarization reflection was not affected. Cuttlefish preyed preferably on fish with normal polarization reflection over fish that did not reflect linearly polarized light (n=24, χ2=17.3, P<0.0001), implying that polarization sensitivity is used during predation. We suggest that polarization vision is used to break the countershading camouflage of light-reflecting silvery fish. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalVision Research
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Camouflage
  • Cephalopods
  • Countershading
  • Polarized light
  • Radiance-matching

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