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Behavior of the Chromatophores of the Giant Pacific Octopus

Zoology and Animal Physiology Project
by

Clementine Harvey

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Behavior of the Chromatophores of the Giant Pacific Octopus

Study of the Behavior of Its Chromatophores What are Chromatophores? MORE BASIC FACTS -Pigmented cells of amphibians, cephalopods, and reptiles

-Composed of muscles that surround sacs of pigment.

-Muscles regulate the amount of pigment able to be seen, which allows the animal to produce different colors and patterns on its skin. [6] Each chromatophore contains either black, red, yellow, or brown sacs of pigments, surrounded by muscle.
Only activated/visible on octopus’s skin when muscles of the chromatophore are contracted. [1]

By contracting certain chromatophores at a time, the octopus displays many different colors and patterns. [8] The Giant Pacific Octopus How effectively and efficiently do chromatophores work, and how could this aid the development of military camouflage? How do they work? Giant Pacific Octopus Changing Color: The Critical Barrier -Converting a biological process into a synthetic one could be challenging

-Might not have the sufficient technology at this time -Optic and other lobes in the octopus's brain respond to stimuli by sending signals to chromatophores that allow the octopus to change the appearance of its skin.

-The muscles surrounding each individual chromatophore contract or relax, allowing different amounts of pigment to show through in different patterns. [1]

-Different transmitters activate/inhibit the different colors that the motoneurons can produce to create the pattern. [7] - Response initiated by the eyes.

-When octopus detects possible threat, it will activate its chromatophores to change color and blend into its surroundings.

-Controlled by a set of lobes that operate in a hierarchy:
-highest level: the optic lobes gather information from the surroundings and select motor programs that will eventually match the pattern of the body to the surroundings.
-lowest level: the motorneurons in the chromatophore lobes receive and execute the motor programs.

-The activity and inactivity of certain pigment-filled sacs in the chromatophores determines the color and pattern on the skin of the octopus. [6] What Sensory Signals Trigger the Activation of the Chromatophores? -The cephalopod's neural control of the chromatophores allows it to change its body color instantaneously

-Crucial when it must escape or hide from predators, when it expresses emotion or aggression, or when it attracts a mate [1] How is this Process so Rapid and Effective? Proposal: An experiment to test the effeciency, rate, and effectivness of an octopus's chromatophores, and propose how synthetic chromosomes can be used in developing camouflage for military applications. [4] A Possible Experiment -Can essentially help in developing better camouflage for military purposes.

- Chromatophores in octopuses-allow octopus to change color/blend into surroundings instantaneously, which helps it escape and protect itself from predators.

-Therefore, this proposed research about the effectiveness of chromatophores can absolutely aid in developing and producing military camouflage. Purpose: Our experiment will be a variation on a previous experiment- the cockroach leg stimulus protocol [4] Method: -Hook a suction electrode up to chromatophoric tissue of an octopus and to a frequency modulator. A sound source (like and iPod) would be connected to the modulator

-Turn the stimulator on and test chromatophores at different frequencies

-Use a camera to video experiment for analysis later. [4] -Watch the recordings of the experiment to determine how long after the frequency is turned on it takes for the chromatophores to respond

-Graph the data to see if there is a relation between increasing and decreasing frequencies and the speed of the chromatophores

-This would help determine which sound frequency is the most efficient for changing chromatophores quickly. Data Analysis: Limitations and Corrections: Since electricity is being used in the experiment, it is important for the person to be careful to not electrocute themselves and potentially cause injuries.

It may be difficult to find an adequate supply of octopuses for the experiment, so we will grow tissue cultures

More extreme frequencies may need to be tested in order to generate more conspicuous results in terms of speed and efficiency of color change. -Improved type of camouflage that would more accurately blend in with changing surroundings.

-Product will be marketed towards military use by the government, as the cost is likely going to be expensive at first. Final Product: Sources Current Research/Other Approaches Summary: -The University of Bristol are developing synthetic chromatophores that people would be able to use

-Work like the chromatophores of zebra fish
-made from dielectric elastomers that are activated by an electrical current [9] Criterion of Success -Blend in accurately with its surroundings

-Be able to adjust quickly -Cephalopods use chromatophores to blend in with their surroundings or send signals

-Chromatophores are sacs of pigment surrounded by a muscle that expands and contracts to allow different amounts of the pigment to show through

-The use a synthetic chromatophores would greatly contribute to camoflage technology

-Experiments have been done using the chromatophores of zebra fish Road Map -The Problem
-Background Information
-What are Chromatophores?
-How do Chromatophores Work?
-Sensory Signals and Effectiveness
-Our Experiment
-Purpose
-Method
-Analysis
-Limitations
-The Final Product
-Criteria for Success
-Critical Barriers
-Other Research and Current Experiments
-Summary 1. Cephalopods: Color change and disguise. (n.d.). In Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Invertebrates/Facts/cephalopods/colordisguise.cfm

2. Dineley, J. (2012, October 26). Imitation of life. In Ri aus. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from http://riaus.org.au/articles/imitation-of-life/

3. Giant Pacific octopus cool facts. (n.d.). In montereybayaquarium.org . Retrieved January 15, 2013, from http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/efc/efc_octopus/octopus_facts.html

4. Insane in the chromatophores. (2012, August 23). In Backyard Brains. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from http://news.backyardbrains.com/2012/08/insane-in-the-chromatophores/

5. Kalupa, J. (2012). Adaptations for survival. In The giant Pacific octopus. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2012/kalupa_juli/adaptation.htm

6. Messenger, J. B. (2001, November). Cephalopod chromatophores: Neurobiology and natural history. In PubMed.gov. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11762491

7. Octopus. (n.d.). In Animal Planet. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/octopus-info.htm

8. Phillipsen, I. (2011, January 10). Giant Pacific octopus. In Wild Pacific north west. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://www.wildpnw.com/2011/01/10/giant-pacific-octopus/#.UIl-MczDCSU

9. Uriarte, J. (2012, May 3). Research into color-changing smart material is inspired by fish. In Gadgets Magazine.com. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from http://www.gadgetsmagazine.com.ph/rumors/new-technology-might-soon-make-your-clothing-change-colors-inspired-by-fish.html The Problem: The development of military camoflauge is very vital nowadays.

Methods of creating effective camoflouge are needed.
-Could be used to potentially save the life of a soldier.
-It will be more effective in "hiding" military troops and protecting them from the attack of enemies during battles or war.
-Synthetic Chromatophores: Possible solution? [2] Cockroach Stimulus Protocol
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