Cuttlefish are truly strange critters – you won’t come across them unless you spend some time scouring the sea – so to save you a trip any time soon, we’ve lined up a few fun facts about cuttlefish well worth remembering. Read on for some curious cuttlefish clues!
1. Cuttlefish can really vary in size and shape.
Cuttlefish vary in size from an average of 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) and weigh up to 23 lbs.
2. There are scores of cuttlefish species.
There are approximately 120 species of cuttlefish. They are sometimes known as ‘Cuttles’.
3. They blend in really well!
Cuttlefish belong to the class Cephalopoda and the order Sepilda. They are also often referred to as the ‘chameleons of the sea’.
4. They are fairly in-depth!
Cuttlefish are often found in shallow waters but many have been seen as far down as 3,000 feet!
5. They have famous family members.
Cuttlefish are related to squid and octopuses. They share some of the same features such as expelling ink and the ability to use camouflage as a defense mechanism.
6. Their name’s lying.
Cuttlefish may be named fish but are not actually fish at all! They are invertebrates – they don’t have skeletons or spinal cords.
7. Cuttlefish are incredibly brainy.
Studies have revealed that cuttlefish have high IQs. In fact, they have one of the biggest brain-to-body size ratios in the animal kingdom.
8. Arm in arm in arm!
Cuttlefish have eight arms. They also have two tentacles attached to their heads.
9. Cuttlefish have internal shells.
Cuttlefish have an unusual feature. The cuttlebone is really a shell and it is located inside their body.
10. Cuttlebones are used to keep these creatures afloat.
The function of cuttlebone is not skeletal support. It is used as a buoyancy aid. Buoyancy Is also regulated by the way they control the levels of gas in their body.
11. Cuttlefish never know their mothers.
It seems sad to learn that cuttlefish Moms never get to see their offspring. This is because the females die after they have laid their eggs!
12. Sadly, they don’t live for long.
Cuttlefish have an average life span of two years.
13. Cuttlefish even take the odd walk!
Strange as it seems, cuttlefish have been seen walking! Young adult and baby cuttlefish use their arms to amble along the sea bed.
14. They change their spots and stripes!
They deliberately change color to camouflage themselves against or within potentially protective flora. This is a good self-defense mechanism to protect them from predators.
Studies show that cuttlefish can change color very quickly. They do this by contracting and expanding cells over three layers. They can also reproduce designs such as leaf dimensions and shapes to match an existing background! If only human magicians could do that!
15. How’s that for a beauty treatment?
By extending or retracting the length of each individual papillae, cuttlefish can create or remove bumps across their skin!
16. They can even mimic physical surroundings.
They deliberately pose in a way that mimics the shapes of nearby features – perhaps an underwater plant or rocky shape. They hold their position until a threat has passed by! How cool is that?
17. Cuttlefish can see for miles.
Cuttlefish have great eyesight. They have exceptionally wide fields of vision. The pupils of their eyes are shaped as ‘W’s and this means that they can see almost the whole of the area behind them!
FAQs about Cuttlefish
Why do some cuttlefish mix up their mucus with their ink?
After prolonged study this question has finally been answered. Cuttlefish are believed to use this as another form of self-defense. They fashion the matter into shapes resembling cuttlefish to make it appear there are more of them!
Are Cuttlefish endangered?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has revealed that giant Australian Cuttlefish, known as Sepia Apama, are threatened due to pollution. Also - the common Sepia Officianalis - a cuttlefish found off the south coast of Britain - is endangered. This is due to overfishing.
What do Cuttlefish eat?
Cuttlefish eat shrimps, prawns, smaller fish and crabs. Their beaks are tough enough to crack shells in order to eat the fleshy meat of their prey.
Do you know any fun facts about the cuttlefish? Share them in the comments below!