From “Mid-Ocean Creatures Control Light to Avoid Becoming Snacks” (em>ScienceDaily, Nov. 10, 2011), we learn:
Transparency is the default state of both Japetella heathi, a bulbous, short-armed, 3-inch octopus, and Onychoteuthis banksii, a 5-inch squid found at these depths. Viewed from below against the light background, these animals are as invisible as they can be. Their eyes and guts, which are impossible to make clear, are instead reflective. But when hit with a flash of bluish light like that produced by headlight fish, they turn on skin pigments, called chromatophores, to become red in the blink of an eye.
Okay, headlight fish: A deep-sea fish with a luminescent patch on its head. It’s a “bring your own light” environment down there.
During ship-board experiments over the Peru-Chile trench in 2010, Zylinski shined blue-filtered LED light on specimens of both creatures to watch them rapidly go from clear to opaque. When the light was removed, they immediately reverted to transparent. On a second research cruise in 2011 in the Sea of Cortez, Zylinski measured the reflectivity of the octopuses and found they reflected twice as much light in their transparent state as in the opaque state.
Amazing the way this stuff just happens to evolve in response to selective pressure. At least that’s what the textbook says, and textbook authors must be right. Oh wait. They must be Darwinists.
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