There is one marine species that I am always looking for when diving and they are the Cephalopods, which includes cuttlefish, squid, octopuses, and nautiluses. There is something truly other worldly about the Cephalopods, especially the cuttlefish. Maybe it’s the large eyes with weird w-shaped pupils, or the soft, undulating form, the ink or the sucker adorned tentacles. (photo – fastcoexist.com)
The Chameleons Of The Sea
For me the Cuttlefish’s most amazing characteristic is the brilliant, chromatic color that they display and can change instantaneously. As if changing their iridescent colors in a second was not enough they can also change the pattern and the shape of their skin. They do this to communicate to other cuttlefish, to camouflage themselves and disappear into their surroundings and to warn off potential predators.
If you are a predator and not sufficiently put off by the cuttlefish’s psychedelic light show, beware because the muscles of the flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) produce a highly toxic compound as lethal as that of the more infamous blue-ringed octopus, considered one of the world’s most venomous marine animals.
Cuttlefish need these layers of defense because their predators include sharks, fish, dolphins, seals, seabirds, and even other cuttlefish. If they can avoid being eaten these spectacular animals only survive for a year or two. But they are smart. We always knew that the octopus was very bright but recent studies have determined that cuttlefish are also among the most intelligent of invertebrates with one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios.
Finally, cuttlefish are not fish but molluscs.
Enjoy These Spectacular, Psychedelic Light Shows
by Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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