The Talented Cuttlefish



If you could challenge any animal to a game of hide and seek in their environment, what animal would you choose? Maybe an easy quick game with a giraffe, or elephant? If you are looking for more of a challenge you should ask a cuttlefish. The Chameleon of the sea has been training for a while and a look at what its learned is fascinating.

The cuttlefish has a W shaped eye that helps it to avoid any blind spots. The cuttlefish can see what’s behind them but cannot see color. It may be thought of as a disadvantage, but this lack of visible color does not stop them from changing the colors of its skin to match its surroundings.

If that’s not enough it can shift the shape of his skin to match the texture of its surroundings also. Any Shape of rock or reef can be duplicated by the cuttlefish skin. And just in case you might find yourself close enough to catch a cuttlefish it can use Ink to cover its escape just like its famous relative, an octopus.


With all these abilities you may wonder how the cuttlefish can process so much information so fast for its advantage. It helps to have the largest brain to body ratio of any invertebrate on earth. The cuttlefish may be smart but with eight arms and two tentacles it has no problem getting around and capturing a meal.

With so many dangers in the sea, the talents of a cuttlefish can come in very handy. With dolphins, seals and sharks always looking to add the cuttlefish to their diet, a fast ability to blend into their surroundings is a must. So next time you get into a hide and seek game, picking the cuttlefish to join your team would be a good decision.

Nova 2007. Cuttlefish: Kings of Camouflage. April 3, 2007


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Eric Bender

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