Bizarre & fascinating squid devours fish with lightning speed
This cuttlefish is one of the most advanced creatures in the ocean. The cuttlefish is a member of the same family as squid, octopus and nautilus. They are extremely fascinating creatures, and among the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Like octopus, their ability to learn and problem solve far surpasses our previous understanding and that of many animals, including most vertebrates. For their size, their brain is larger than any other invertebrate. They are found in almost all tropical and temperate waters, but never in the Atlantic. Although they prefer shallower waters, cuttlefish can be found occasionally at depths of 600m (2,000 feet).
This cuttlefish has approached a scuba diver inn Papua New Guinea who is exploring the reef at night, using lights to navigate and to record his findings on video. In a brilliant display of cunning and adaptability, the cuttlefish began using the diver and his lights to assist it in hunting for food. Although they possess sophisticated and keen eyesight that allows them to capably hunt at night without illumination, the added light was obviously creating a disadvantage for the cuttlefish’s prey. Small fish that were also attracted to the light were less able to see the cuttlefish. Taking full advantage of this, the cuttlefish ambushed two fish right in front of the diver.
With lightning quick movements, the cuttlefish extended two club like appendages that gripped the fish and drew it rapidly to its mouth where it was swiftly eaten. The fact that the cuttlefish understood the advantage the lights provided shows high intelligence and an ability to think beyond that of most animals. When the video is slowed down, it becomes clear how the cuttlefish secures and holds its prey.
Cuttlefish eat fish, crabs, mollusks, and even other squid, octopus, and cuttlefish. Highly maneuverable, these fish can swim in any direction and can change direction easily. They are also capable of changing color and even texture to blend in with their surroundings. They use highly evolved cells along their bodies to emit light that is used for communication with other cuttlefish. They are even capable of communicating two different messages to cuttlefish on different sides at the same time.
Cuttlefish have “W” shaped pupils and unique eye structure that allows them to see and process visual stimuli at the front and the back at the same time. They do not have a blind spot, like most animals do, because of their unique eye structure. They also have highly developed eyesight prior to hatching and remember, as well as show a preference for, prey that they are exposed to prior to hatching from the eggs.
Cuttlefish are able to eject an ink that provides a smoke screen and a means of reduced visibility to help in escape, but they are also capable of releasing the ink in a manner that creates a pseudo-morph that mimics their size, shape and appearance so that predators are focused on a decoy as the cuttlefish escapes.
Cuttlefish, squid and octopus have many similar characteristics. They are among the most advanced, adaptable, and fascinating creatures in the ocean.