On Sunday I was reading the an article on the BBC News website about squid. Interestingly marine biologists have only just started getting an idea of how squid hear and react to sounds in the ocean. It is only recently that scientists have accepted that cephalopods can hear at all. But how do they hear us coming?
One of the scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Massachusetts in America, Dr Mooney, has researched whether cephalopods have audible senses. It is important to know if they do to make it clear whether anything we are doing in the oceans could be unsettling them as they play an important role in the food chain.
Dr Mooney has been able to map how the different levels of sound will prompt the cephalopods into different behaviours. “They react in about 10 milliseconds,” he says. “That’s really fast; it’s essentially a reflex. That’s really important in terms of behavioural responses because they’re not thinking about processing it; they’re not deciding whether they should react – they’re just doing it.
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