Friday, August 16, 2013

The Cuttlefish

This strange mollusk possesses very well developed eyes...

The cuttlefish never ceases to astonish experts and scholars.  It is one of the most peculiar mollusks you'll see, as it is almost like an alien of the sea; ha!  It has two great big eyes and has the ability to change its color and adapt its appearance exactly to that of its surroundings.  The range of colors at its disposal is of incredible richness and it can change its appearance in a matter of a few seconds - which is even better than the well-known chameleon.  This camouflage is indispensable to the cuttlefish and gives it security in an undersea world filled with enemies.

It has an ingenious syphoning system which is operated by the cuttlefish breathing in and then expelling the water rapidly backwards.  When in fear of an enemy attack, it ejects a blue-black liquid, like ink, which quickly forms an impenetrable cloud around it, allowing it to flee unobserved or to bury itself at the bottom of some hole.  Its head has 2 tentacles and 8 arms by means of which its prey is seized and held.  Cuttlefish eat small mollusks, crabs, shrimp, fish, octopuses, worms, and other cuttlefish. Their predators include dolphins, seals, sharks, seabirds, fish (such as the John Dory Fish), and other cuttlefish. Going by what I read on Wikipedia, their life expectancy is about one to two years. Recent studies indicate cuttlefish are among the most intelligent invertebrates and they have complex brains.  I have also read that they have 3 hearts pumping their blue-green blood.  Sounds pretty freaky, eh? These bizarre-looking cuttlefish also have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates.

Instead of me rambling on about various tidbits concerning this creature, if you'd like to read more, feel free to visit:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuttlefish


Image Credit: http://slyasafox.com/newsletters/TRIZ_Local_Quality.html [Link is no longer valid]

Due to a reader's request, I have added a YouTube video showing how fast the cuttlefish can change colors.  Check it out, below:




---End of Post "The Cuttlefish"

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