What is a cuttlefish?

Do you know what is a cuttlefish? Let’s know detail about cuttlefish. You have probably noticed ‘cuttlebone’ pushed between the bars of a budgerigar’s cage, or washed up on the beach. This ‘bone’ is not really bone at all but the shell of a cuttlefish, which is not a fish but a mollusk.

What is a cuttlefish?

The cuttlefishes, squids and octopuses belong to a group of mollusks called cephalopods and most are characterized by a very reduced shell or by the mantle and, being very light, completely enclosed by the mantle and, being very light, it helps to keep the animal buoyant.

What is a cuttlefish
Giant squids are deep seas animals which can reach enormous proportions. Specimens about 60 feet long (nearly as long as a tennis court) have been washed ashore although they can probably grow even larger than this.
What is a cuttlefish: Cuttlefishes lives in shallow water ranging over the eastern North Atlantic Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea. They are usually about 3 feet in length. This one is squirting an ink cloud.

The foot of all the cephalopods is modified to form either eight or ten tentacles which surround the head (cephalopod means head-footed). These bear suckers along their length and it is with them that the animals catch their prey.

What is a cuttlefish
These are deep sea squids which are illuminated by light organs.

The edge of the mantle of the cuttlefish forms two flaps at the sides and by undulating these the animal swims about quite leisurely. In an emergency, greater speed is obtained by forcing out a jet of water from the mantle cavity through a funnel. The funnel can be directed in any direction and if suddenly attacked, the cuttlefish can shoot off out of danger.

Why does a squid squirt ink?

Another emergency tactic that can be adopted by cuttle fishes, squids and octopuses is the use of a smoke screen. All these animals can swim rapidly by the jet propulsion method. If, however, a hungry shark or penguin gets too close it may be surprised to discover that it is in fact chasing a cloud of black ink, the squid having quickly squirted this out while travelling at speed and, swiveling its funnel, darting off in another direction.

Is an octopus dangerous to man?

There are stories of people being attacked by an octopus and frantically trying to detach the suckers of the encircling arms. This may happen very rarely and when it does the octopus is really investigating a new moving shape rather than attacking it. If the person could manage to keep perfectly still the octopus would soon let him go.

What is a cuttlefish
The body plan of a typical cephalopod.
What is a cuttlefish
Octopuses differ from cuttlefishes and squids in having eight arms rather than ten. They are also characterized by the absence of an internal shell.

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