The one true king of the cephalopodians

Oh, joy! Carl Zimmer has published a profile of Roger Hanlon, the well-known cephalopod expert, and he is specifically discussing the work on camouflage that I previously summarized. I’ve also cited his work on sexual mimicry and nuptial dances — this is a fellow whose work all true worshipers of the cephalopod should be following.


  1. says

    Blasphemy! I came to this website for atheistic musings! Now we have actual science?!!?! I am going to have to active corners of my brain I have not used in months. (Not sure if previous comment was meant to be sarcastic or grateful)

  2. Fernando Magyar says

    I have seen cuttlefish (no, not that Cuttlefish) doing nuptial dances in the wild and in the process flashing all colors of the rainbow. Reading that these masters of color are actually color blind is truly mind blowing. As someone who has dabbled in black and white photography and computer graphics I’m aware that high resolution finely graded shades of grey can convey extremley nuanced surface information. However I can’t quite imagine how a truly color blind creature can so perfectly blend in with colored backgrounds. Is there a theory as to what is going on here?

  3. says

    A thought:

    Although cuttlefish (no, not Cuttlefish) are colorblind, there is evidence that they can detect, and flash in, polarized light.

    And while this may not explain the flashing of color, on the other hand it might.

    When humans study cuttlefish (no, not Cuttlefish), they do so with the biases inherent in possessing trichromatic eyes.

    So it is no surprise,

    That humans see a color deficit instead of a polarization plus

    When comparing “them” to “us”.

    It could be that color is an artifact, and not what the cuttlefish (not, not Cuttlefish) perceives at all;

    He just sees a lady cuttlefish and answer’s nature’s call.

    Of course, this Cuttlefish (no, not cuttlefish) is not an expert, so everything I am saying about cephalopod communication and the beautiful danse nuptial

    Is merely concuptial.


  4. Fernando Magyar says

    It seems that I must reassess the way I thought of Color.
    For being trichromatic I thought polarized light duller.
    But now that my perception has so greatly been enhanced.
    I’ve a greater admiration for how a cuttlefish’s romanced.