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Cuttlefish information

Temporal range: Maastrichtian– recent
The giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama), above, is the largest species
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Superorder: Decapodiformes
Order: Sepiida
Zittel, 1895
Suborders and families
  • †Vasseuriina
    • †Vasseuriidae
    • †Belosepiellidae
  • Sepiina
    • †Belosaepiidae
    • Sepiadariidae
    • Sepiidae
    • Sepiolidae Leach, 1817
  • Sepiolida Fioroni, 1981[1]

Cuttlefish, or cuttles, are marine molluscs of the order Sepiida. They belong to the class Cephalopoda which also includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses. Cuttlefish have a unique internal shell, the cuttlebone, which is used for control of buoyancy.

Cuttlefish have large, W-shaped pupils, eight arms, and two tentacles furnished with denticulated suckers, with which they secure their prey. They generally range in size from 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 in), with the largest species, the giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama), reaching 50 cm (20 in) in mantle length and over 10.5 kg (23 lb) in mass.[2]

Cuttlefish eat small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish, octopus, worms, and other cuttlefish. Their predators include dolphins, larger fish (including sharks), seals, seabirds, and other cuttlefish. The typical life expectancy of a cuttlefish is about 1–2 years. Studies are said to indicate cuttlefish to be among the most intelligent invertebrates.[3] Cuttlefish also have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates.[3]

The Greco-Roman world valued the cuttlefish as a source of the unique brown pigment the creature releases from its siphon when it is alarmed. The word for it in both Greek and Latin, sepia, now refers to the reddish-brown color sepia in English.

  1. ^ Philippe Bouchet (2018). "Sepiida". World Register of Marine Species. Flanders Marine Institute. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  2. ^ Reid, A., P. Jereb, & C. F. E. Roper (2005). "Family Sepiidae". In: P. Jereb & C. F. E. Roper, eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species known to date. Volume 1. Chambered nautiluses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 1. Rome, FAO. pp. 57–152.
  3. ^ a b NOVA, 2007. Cuttlefish: Kings of Camouflage. (television program) NOVA, PBS, April 3, 2007.

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