“Ship Noise Makes Cuttlefish Change Color”

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The Story

“Ship Noise Makes Cuttlefish Change Color”
by Jyoti Madhusoodanan
Science, October 10, 2014

The Pitch

Pitch: Cuttlefish color up in response to ship noises

Cephalopods quicken skin color changes and swim more when they hear ship engines, new research shows. The sounds of crashing surf don’t induce these behavioral reactions, hinting that engine noise may cause higher stress levels. Additionally, the fast color changes could hinder camouflage, increasing cuttlefishes’ chances of being spotted by predators. Previous studies have found that human noise interferes with acoustic communication in birds, frogs, insects and marine mammals. But these findings, published in the October issue of The American Naturalist, suggest anthropogenic noise can also affect the behaviors of species that do not rely on sound to communicate.

Link to paper: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/677545
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