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    Fiorito, Graziano Affuso, Andrea Anderson, David B. Basil, Jennifer Bonnaud, Laure Botta, Giovanni Cole, Alison D’Angelo, Livia De Girolamo, Paolo Dennison, Ngaire Dickel, Ludovic Di Cosmo, Anna Di Cristo, Carlo Gestal, Camino Fonseca, Rute Grasso, Frank Kristiansen, Tore Kuba, Michael Maffucci, Fulvio Manciocco, Arianna Mark, Felix Christopher Melillo, Daniela Osorio, Daniel Palumbo, Anna Perkins, Kerry Ponte, Giovanna Raspa, Marcello Shashar, Nadav Smith, Jane Smith, David Sykes, António Villanueva, Roger Tublitz, Nathan Zullo, Letizia and Andrews, Paul 2014. Cephalopods in neuroscience: regulations, research and the 3Rs. Invertebrate Neuroscience, Vol. 14, Issue. 1, p. 13.

  • Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Volume 87, Issue 5
  • October 2007, pp. 1255-1256

A new noise detected in the ocean

  • Angel Guerra (a1), Xavier Martinell (a2), Angel F. González (a1), Michael Vecchione (a3), Joaquin Gracia (a4) and Jordi Martinell (a5)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 18 October 2007

Many observers have noted that the sea is full of loud sounds, both ongoing and episodic. Among the many sources of natural ambient noise are wave action, physical processes such as undersea earthquakes, and biological activities of shrimps, fish, dolphins and whales. Despite interest by acoustics experts, sound production by cephalopods has been reported only twice, both involving squid. The ‘faint poppings’ produced were thought to result from fluttering of the thin external lips of the squid's funnel while water is being expelled through it. Otherwise, no information is available on cephalopod sounds. Here we present a noise produced by a stressed common octopus. The event was filmed and recorded in the wild. The hypothesis we offer to explain how this sound was produced is cavitation, which has been documented in several biological systems. In our case, the water expelled through the funnel may have created a jet with a velocity so high that the turbulent pressure dropped locally below the vapour pressure of the water. Seawater contains gas microbubbles, which will grow in size when they are entrained in the region of low pressure. Subsequently, the bubbles collapse violently when pressure rises again. The sound produced by the octopus is like a gunshot, and distinct lights observed at the same time contradict the existence of a simple pressure wave and point to the possible presence of gas-bubbles, which would change the light intensity by reflection and refraction of the sunlight. This behaviour seems to be a defensive strategy to escape from vibration-sensitive predators.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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