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Ink is used in a variety of ways by cephalopods. One way is to use the ink to create a pseudomorph (false form). To make a pseudomorph the ink is mixed with mucous apparently from the funnel organ. The funnel organ lies on the inner walls of the funnel. The ink mass then is squirted out through the funnel into the sea water. The mucous mass holds the ink withinin a confined region. If just the right amount of ink and mucous are ejected, the dark mass will have approximately the dimensions of the squid that secreted it.
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While no experimental evidence has demonstrated the function of the pseudomorph, any diver that has been confused by this behavior will have little doubt as to its function. The swimming squid detects the approach of a diver (or predator) and suddenly expands its chromatophores to become very dark. It then secretes a pseudomorph, pales in color and rapidly darts away. Even if the diver is aware of this trick from previous experience, he/she automatically visually locks onto the dark mass while the squid "vanishes."
About This Page
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA
Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls-Sur-Mer, France
Page copyright © 2000 and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Page: Tree of Life
Cephalopod Pseudomorph Function
Richard E. Young and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003).
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