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Packaging inspired by squid skin could keep your takeaway coffee warm

Squids’ stretchy skin changes colour in response to varying light levels, inspiring scientists to create a plastic that changes its heat absorption when stretched

Technology 28 March 2022

The Caribbean reef squid Sepioteuthis sepioideacan change colour to match its surroundings

The Caribbean reef squid Sepioteuthis sepioideacan changes colour to match its surroundings

David Fleetham / Alamy

A packaging material inspired by squid skin that changes the way it absorbs heat when stretched could be used to keep takeaway meals at the right temperature.

Squids camouflage themselves using hundreds of cells called chromatophores, which contain sacs of pigment. The size of these sacs fluctuates according to the contraction and relaxation of their surrounding muscles, enabling squids to change colour according to the reflection of light off their surface.

Inspired by this contraction and relaxation, Alon Gorodetsky …