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article imageVideo shows squid using ink cloud to great effect

By Tim Sandle     Feb 26, 2016 in Environment
Tokyo - An interesting new video shows a squid using its ink as a smokescreen to confuse and trap its prey. This is the first time the activity has been properly captured on film.
The video focuses on a Japanese pygmy squid, which uses a projection of ink to capture shrimp. The ink is used as both a smokescreen, to hide the squid, and as a distraction method to confuse the shrimp.
The Japanese pygmy squid (Idiosepius paradoxus) is a type of bobtail squid native to the western Pacific Ocean. These are fairly small squid, with eight suckered arms and two tentacles. Like many other type of squid, this species can produce ink.
Cephalopod ink is a dark pigment released into water from the ink sacs located between the gills. The excretion is dark in color due to melanin being the primary constituent. Ink is produced as a dark, diffuse cloud (ike a smoke screen) designed to obscure the squid from the view of others. A secondary function, less well explored by biologists, is to confuse prey.
This dual purpose is explored in the video below:
The video was made by Noriyosi Sato of Aberystwyth University, U.K. Speaking with New Scientist magazine, Dr. Sato said: "This is the first report that cephalopods use ink for predation." The activity is seen as a sign that squid posses rudimentary intelligence.
The squid in the video was isolated from the Chita Peninsula in central Honshu, Japan. Various specimens were taken to a laboratory based aquarium where the activities were closely observed.
A paper has been produced to accompany the video, published in the journal Marine Biology. The paper is titled "Japanese pygmy squid (Idiosepius paradoxus) use ink for predation as well as for defence."
More about squid ink, Squid, Ink, Oceans
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