Part III: Changeable Skin
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Hanlon introduces the amazing adaptive coloration of cephalopods. He uses video and still photography to showcase their ability to rapidly change color, pattern and skin texture with fine control and a diversity of appearances, to produce camouflage or to send signals. He argues that all camouflage patterns in nature can be grouped into three types. In part 2, Hanlon shows us results from his lab that make a convincing case that the rapid adaptive coloration of cephalopods is controlled by their visual system; quite impressive for a color-blind animal! Part 3 focuses on the unique skin of cephalopods including the system of pigments and reflectors that allows it to quickly change to any hue and contrast, and the papillae musculature that allows the skin to deform and create multiple 3D textures.
Dr. Hanlon’s career path seems to have been determined by fate; as a teenager scuba diving in Panama, he came across an octopus on a coral reef and he has been fascinated with them ever since.
Hanlon received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. He spent more than a decade at the Marine Biomedical Institute at the University of Texas Medical Branch before moving to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA in 1995. Hanlon was director of the Marine Resources Center at MBL for eight years. Currently, he is a Senior Scientist and his research lab continues to investigate the wonders of cephalopod camouflage.
- Nancy Knowlton iBioSeminar: Coral and Coral Reefs
- Nancy Knowlton iBioEducation Lecture: Coral Reefs and Climate Change
- Hopi Hoekstra Short Clip: Coat Color Natural Selection
- Roger Hanlon Short Clip: Octopus Camouflage
Hanlon RT. 2007. Cephalopod dynamic camouflage. Current Biology 17: R400-R404.
Hanlon RT, Chiao CC, Mathger LM, Barbosa A, Buresch KC, Chubb C. 2009. Cephalopod dynamic camouflage: bridging the continuum between background matching and disruptive coloration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 364: 429-437.
Hanlon RT, Chiao CC, Mäthger LM, Buresch KC, Barbosa A, Allen JJ, Siemann L, Chubb C. 2011. Rapid adaptive camouflage in cephalopods. In: Stevens M and Merilaita S, eds. Animal camouflage: mechanisms and functions. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. 145-163.
Mäthger LM, Hanlon RT. 2007. Malleable skin coloration in cephalopods: selective reflectance, transmission and absorbance of light by chromatophores and iridophores. Cell and Tissue Research 329: 179-186.
Mäthger LM, Denton EJ, Marshall NJ, Hanlon RT. 2009. Mechanisms and behavioural functions of structural coloration in cephalopods. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 6 Suppl 2: S149-S163.