Hogfish sees with eyes and skin, study says

2023-08-24 Editor : Li Ji ECNS App Download

A study found that hogfish, a common pointy-snouted reef fish in the western Atlantic Ocean, can "see with its skin" in order to quickly camouflage itself with its surroundings.  

The article, named "Dynamic light filtering over dermal opsin as a sensory feedback system in fish color change," was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, with the lead author Lorian E. Schweikert and her colleagues teamed up to take a closer look at hogfish skin.  

To study this behaviour, the team took samples of the hogfish's skin and analysed them under a microscope. This up-close look showed many cells called chromatophores.Thanks to the cellular mechanism in chromatophores, hogfish can change from white to spotted brown to reddish depending on their surroundings as they cruise reefs and sand flats.  


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