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Hawaiian bobtail squid.

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Hawaiian bobtail squid are nocturnal predators, remaining buried under the sand during the day and coming out to hunt for shrimp at night near coral reefs. The squid have a light organ on their underside that houses a colony of glowing bacteria (Vibrio fischeri). The squid uses this bacterial bioluminescence in a form of camouflage called counter-illumination, masking its silhouette by matching moonlight and starlight; thus hiding from predators swimming below. The light organ is attached to the ink sac and it can use this ink like a type of shutter to control the amount of light. This likely helps the squid adjust to variable light conditions, for example cloudy nights or a full vs. new moon. In this image of a juvenile squid, the bi-lobed light organ and ink sac in the center of the squid's mantle cavity is clearly seen.

Photomacrograph. Width of image is 1.5 centimeters.



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