Cuttlefish – but not Cuddly

cuttle

Today we are sharing some amazing creatures you might see when diving and give some more in-depth information about them. This time it is about cuttlefish! Keep reading to find out what makes them so unique!

Sepia Officinalis is the scientific name, but it is more commonly known as the cuttlefish. Sepia creatures have an oval body and fins that go around the main body, which widens at the posterior part. The eyes are in the posterior of the cuttlefish. Their eight arms are short compared to their body and have rows of suckers on them.  The central pair of tentacles are broadly flattened. Inside their shell, they have a bone called the cuttlebone which is oblong at the rounded posterior end and at the anterior end it tapers to a point. This is where they get their name from. Ironically there is a type of cuttlefish without this bone referred to as a spineless cuttlefish.

During the reproduction process females deposit eggs, and they hatch after about two months. After they hatch, they can almost immediately feed and are independent of their mothers. Males are very protective of their females and often fight when mating and display a wide range of color while the females are a more uniform grey/brown color. Males hold their arms out stiffly to show they are fertile. They both reach maturity between fourteen and eighteen months. The males put spermaphores inside the female to fertilize eggs, and the cycle begins again. On average, they grow to forty-five centimeters but can grow up to sixty centimeters.

They have adapted over the years to develop a camouflage system. They can change color and texture to blend into their surroundings. Their skin takes on the textures and colors around it. As in the picture, its surface takes on a bumpy texture to blend in even better. It interacts in its environment by eating small creatures such as crustaceans, keeping the populations in check. It is a predator because it eats crabs, shrimps, and tiny fishes. Cuttlefish can change the color and texture of their skin despite being color blind. They are fascinating to watch move. They hover using these fins around their head or shoot off fast with their tentacles. They shoot out their tongue similar to a frog to catch their food. They are typically shy creatures who are solitary.

We hope you enjoyed reading about this interesting creature! If you would like to learn more about cuttlefish or have another animal in mind we would be glad to do some research or post another article for you, contact us at info@20000leaguesscuba.com.

References:

Coenhagen, U. (2018, October 30). Cephalopods could become an important food source in the global community. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-cephalopods-important-food-source-global.html

Compton, A. L., & Wiley, L. (2011). Sepia officinalis. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Sepia_officinalis/

Kluijver, M. J. de, Ingalsuo, S. S., & Bruyne, R. H. de. (n.d.). Mollusca of the North Sea . Retrieved March 31, 2020, from http://species-identification.org/species.php?species_group=mollusca&id=434&menuentry=groepen

Kluijver, M. J. de, Ingalsuo, S. S., & Bruyne, R. H. de. (n.d.). Sepiella japonica. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from http://species-identification.org/species.php?species_group=mollusca&menuentry=soorten&id=946&tab=beschrijving

Kluijver, M. J. de, Ingalsuo, S. S., & Bruyne, R. H. de. (n.d.). Sepia officinalis. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from http://species-identification.org/species.php?species_group=mollusca&selected=beschrijving&menuentry=soorten&record=Sepia officinalis

Milius, S. (2019, October 8). Octopuses can ‘see’ with their skin. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/octopuses-can-see-their-skin

O’Brien, Caitlin E., J.-A., Christelle, Nawel, Bellanger, Cécile, … Ludovic. (2017, November 16). Maternal and Embryonic Stress Influence Offspring Behavior in the Cuttlefish Sepia officinalis. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00981

Thompson, H. (2019, August 8). Watch male cuttlefish fight over a female in the wild. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/watch-male-cuttlefish-fight-over-female-wild

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