Cuttlefish Facts

Cuttlefish Facts
Cuttlefish is a type of marine invertebrate that belongs to the group of Cephalopods. There are around 100 species of cuttlefish that can be found in the shallow, tropical waters all over the world, except near the coasts of North and South America. Cuttlefish appeared on the planet 500 million years ago. They were often hunted as a source of ink in the past (that was used for writing), while today they are mostly hunted as a source of food. Cuttlefish are also frequently collected from the wild for aquariums and various research centers. Despite that, cuttlefish are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Cuttlefish Facts:
Cuttlefish can reach 6 to 20 inches in length. Largest species weighs 23 pounds.
Cuttlefish has ability to quickly change color, texture and pattern of the skin on the body thanks to the millions of pigment cells, connected with muscles in the skin.
Cuttlefish has beak made of chitin on the head, surrounded with 8 arms and 2 long tentacles equipped with suckers. It has large eyes and elongated body surrounded with skirt-like fin.
Cuttlebone is the only bony structure in the body of cuttlefish. It is oval-shaped and used for regulation of buoyancy. Cuttlebone represents excellent source of calcium for birds.
Cuttlefish usually swims slowly (using its fin). When needed, it can move fast by ejecting huge amount of water from the mantle. This type of movement, known as jet-propulsion, is used when it needs to escape from the predators such as large fish and sharks, and it is usually accompanied with release of ink.
Cuttlefish has very large brain, and it is one of the most intelligent marine invertebrates.
Cuttlefish has W-shaped pupils and ability to see polarized light (unlike humans).
Cuttlefish has green-blue blood (due to pigment called haemocyanin which contains copper) and three hearts.
Cuttlefish is a carnivore. Its diet is based on crabs, shrimps and small fish. Cuttlefish uses arms to hold the prey and beak to slice it on the smaller pieces that can be easily swallowed.
Sense of taste of cuttlefish is located on the suckers.
Mating season of cuttlefish takes place during the spring and summer.
Males are often brilliantly-colored and aggressive toward other males during the mating season. They perform various rituals to attract females.
Male inserts packages of sperm (called spermatophores) into the mantle of female. Female lays around 200 eggs on the rocks, seaweed or other structures and guards them until they hatch. Since mother doesn't eat during the incubation period, she dies out of exhaustion shortly after hatching. Even though male doesn't guard eggs, he also has short lifespan and dies shortly after the mating season.
Cuttlefish reaches sexual maturity at the age of 14 to 18 months.
Cuttlefish can survive 1 to 3 years in the wild.

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