A new study from Duke University finds that deep-sea crabs “color-code” their food. They have a modified color vision that is sensitive to both blue and ultraviolet light.
Duke biologist Sönke Johnsen explained the crabs may use this combination to “sort out the likely toxic corals they’re sitting on, which glow, or bioluminesce, blue-green and green, from the plankton they eat, which glow blue.”
The color-coding idea is “still very much in the hypothesis stage, but it’s a good idea,” Johnsen said. To solidify the idea, the researchers need to collect more crabs and test their sensitivity to other wavelengths.
You can read the full story from Duke here:
The findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Biology on September 6. You can read the full paper here:
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