Decoding the Cuttlefish

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,605
    Harvard University has unlocked the secret to the cuttlefish’s camouflaging ability and is seeking to recreate it for military purposes.

    Harvard University has unlocked the secret of the cuttlefish’s coloring camouflage ability.  A new study reveals that a natural nanoscale photonic device allows the cuttlefish to dynamically change its colors.  It uses pigmented organs called chromatophores that contain luminescent protein nanostructures that enable the cuttlefish to make quick and elaborate changes in its skin pigmentation.  When the fish changes color, each chromatophore expands changing the surface area as much as 500%.  Researchers say the challenge now is for us to learn how to replicate these mechanisms and potentially engineer a camouflage system that could be applicable in military use.