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'Disco squid' puts on a technicolor light show when it gets 'excited' after catching dinner

 Caribbean reef squid flashed different colours after it caught prey
Diver captured the behaviour near a wreck in the Florida Keys
He said it seemed to get 'excited' and swam off rapidly, changing colours
Creatures do this by using light-reflecting chromatophores in their skin
Reef squid are known to communicate by changing their colour and texture
A ‘disco squid’ that changes colour and glows in the dark ensures that life below the ocean waves is never dull.
The Caribbean reef squid’s incredible technicolour display was caught on camera as it hunted for food at night.
The 12-inch (30cm) cephalopod was snapped searching for prey in the shadows, before rapidly swimming away with its catch while flashing different colours.

Photographer Masa Ushioda, 43, encountered the rainbow-coloured creature 50ft (15metres) underwater during a dive at the City of Washington Wreck off Florida Keys in the US.
Mr Ushioda, who lives in Hawaii, said: ‘I found this squid hunting for prey and it started targeting some zoo plankton off my dive lights.
‘When they are hunting, they get excited and display the most brilliant colours using the special chromatophores in their skin.
‘As soon as it had snatched a couple of planktons, it jetted away with excitement.’
Caribbean reef squid are known to communicate by changing their colour, shape and texture.
They can do this by the nervous control of chromatophores, which are pigment-containing and light-reflecting organelles in cells found in a wide range of animals.
The creatures use their transformative power to stay concealed from predators, become large in the face of danger and flash different colours to find a mate.
Incredibly, they can change colour on one side of their body to give another squid a message on their right, while adopting different colours on the rest f their body.
Mr Ushioda said: ‘I'm happy with how the squid came out with colours because sometimes it is difficult to capture them.
‘The key is to deliberately underexpose the photo muting the strobe light, and then brighten the picture later to bring out its natural colours.


‘Disco clams’ were recently caught on camera 'partying' on the ocean floor while producing their own strobe light effects.
And now one scientist, who first came across the entertaining mollusc four years ago, has discovered the secret of how it lights up.
Ctenoides ales, dubbed disco clams because of this unique feature, produce the effect using its lips - which is packed with tiny spheres of reflective silica - like a mirror ball.
A scientists discovered that the mirrored lips of a disco clam (pictured) are composed of packed nanospheres, ideal for reflecting the blue light prevalent underwater
Lindsey Dougherty encountered the two-inch clam in 2010 while diving with her mother and sister in Wakatobi, Indonesia.
She saw Ctenoides ales roll the edge of its mantle - a layer of muscle and tissue that acts like a cloak over the mollusc's body - and produce a strobe-light effect using its mirrored lips.
She found that the flashing was not a form of bioluminescence, which is a chemical reaction inside animals like plankton that produces light similar to that of a glow stick.
Instead, she found, the edge of the clam's mantle lip is highly reflective on one side.
When the clam unfurls its lip - typically twice a second - the millimetre-wide mirror is revealed and reflects the ambient light, like a disco ball.
The inside of the clam's lip is packed with tiny spheres of silica, only 340 nanometers in diameter, that are ideal reflectors, particularly of the blue light that penetrates deeper into seawater compared to red light.
The outside of the lip contains no silica nanospheres, so when the lip is furled, no light is reflected, according to the study, published in the British Journal of the Royal Society Interface.
By repeatedly unfurling and furling the lip, the clam produces a continual rippling light show.
The non-reflective back of the lip strongly absorbs blue light, so it appears dark and makes the contrast between the sides even more striking.

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