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Latest Margaret McFall-Ngai Stories

Bobtail Squid Get A Little Body Clock Help From Vibrio Fischeri
2013-04-02 12:54:17

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study on glowing bacteria found within Hawaiian bobtail squid could change the way scientists look at symbiotic microorganisms. The study, which was recently published in the journal mBio, showed the Vibrio fischeri bacteria in the squid´s light organ not only camouflage the animal at night — the bacteria also influence a gene that entrains, or synchronizes, the cephalopod´s circadian rhythms. "To our...

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2010-11-22 10:30:00

In deep ocean waters, it's sometimes difficult to hide from predators. That's why so many sea creatures have evolved extraordinary methods of disguise. Cephalopods, such as octopus, squid and cuttlefish, are big on camouflage, by day or night. In fact, the Hawaiian bobtail squid has several means of stealthy self- preservation. "During the day, if they are disturbed from the sand, they will come out, sit on the surface with a sand coat on them, trying to be invisible," says Margaret...

2009-06-03 16:22:45

U.S. scientists have determined certain squids can detect light through a symbiotic organ, not just through their eyes. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers said the light-emitting organ some squids use in camouflaging themselves to avoid being seen by predators also detects light. That, the scientists said, is a finding that might lead to insights into the mechanisms of controlling and perceiving light. Professor Margaret McFall-Ngai, who led the study, said the light organ, which...

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2009-06-02 07:51:58

It's hard to miss the huge eye of a squid. But now it appears that certain squids can detect light through an organ other than their eyes as well. That's what researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison report in the current issue (June 2) of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study shows that the light-emitting organ some squids use to camouflage themselves to avoid being seen by predators "” usually fish sitting on the ocean floor "” also detects...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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