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cuttlefish

cuttlefish, common name applied to cephalopod mollusks that have 10 tentacles, or arms, 8 of which have muscular suction cups on their inner surface and 2 that are longer and can shoot out for grasping prey, and a reduced internal shell enbedded in the enveloping mantle. The body is short, broad, and flattened. Cuttlefish are carnivorous and excellent at capturing prey with their arms.

Although good swimmers, they are not as fast as the related squids, but like the squids cuttlefish have lateral fins used as stabilizers and for steering and propulsion. They swim by jet propulsion, forcibly expelling water through a siphon. During the day they lie buried in the bottom of the ocean; at night they swim and hunt for food.

Except for the squid genus Loligo, cuttlefish have the best cephalopod eyes, which are highly complex. When disturbed, cuttlefish eject a cloud of dark brown ink from an ink sac for protection. The ink gland and ink sac are specializations of the rectal gland. The ink is composed mostly of melanin and has been used as the artist's pigment, sepia. All cuttlefish are dioecious, i.e., the sexes are separate.

The common, worldwide, deepwater cuttlefish, genus Spirula, is considered a "living fossil" because it possesses a remnant of the external shell of the ancient cephalopods. These cuttlefish have a small, coiled internal shell containing a bubble of gas (nitrogen), which serves as a float in the ocean. The European cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, possesses a degenerate internal shell composed of lime, which is popularly called cuttlebone. Within the narrow spaces between the thin septa of the shell are fluid and gas (mostly nitrogen), which give the organism buoyancy. These cuttlefish are found in the Mediterranean and E Atlantic. The cuttlebone is used for pet birds as a source of lime salts. Sepia are able to undergo a complex of color changes ranging from pink to brown with varying stripes and spots, usually displayed when they are disturbed. The eggs, deposited singly and attached by a stalk to objects on the ocean bottom, are extremely large, up to .6 in. (15 mm) in diameter. The smallest cuttlefish, Idiosepius, inhabits tide pools and attains a length of .6 in. (15 mm). Cuttlefish are classified in the phylum Mollusca, class Cephalopoda, order Sepioidea.

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cuttlefish

cuttlefish Cephalopod mollusc related to the squid and octopus. Like squid, cuttlefish swim rapidly by the propulsion of a jet of water forced out through a siphon. They have ten sucker-covered arms on the head, two much longer than the rest. Their flattened bodies contain the familiar chalky cuttle-bone. Capable of rapid colour changes, they can also eject blue-black ‘ink’ as a means of protection. Family Sepiidae; species Sepia officinalis.

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cuttlefish

cut·tle·fish / ˈkətlˌfish/ • n. (pl. same or -fishes) a marine mollusk (Sepia and other genera, class Cephalopoda ) with eight arms and two long tentacles that are used for grabbing prey.

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cuttlefish

cuttlefish See SEPIOIDEA.

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cuttlefish

cuttlefish •raffish • damselfish •catfish, flatfish •garfish, starfish •redfish •elfish, selfish, shellfish •devilfish •crayfish, waifish •stiffish • kingfish • jellyfish •killifish • filefish • pipefish •white fish •offish, standoffish •codfish • dogfish • rockfish • crawfish •swordfish •blowfish, oafish •goldfish •bonefish, stonefish •wolfish •huffish, roughish, toughish •mudfish • monkfish • cuttlefish •lungfish • lumpfish • spearfish •angelfish • parrotfish • silverfish •haggish, waggish •vaguish •biggish, piggish, priggish, whiggish •doggish, hoggish •roguish, voguish •puggish, sluggish, thuggish •largish

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Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish are cephalopod mollusks of the family Sepiidae, in the order Sepiida. Cephalopod meanshead-footedand the class includes advanced mollusks such as cuttlefish, squid and octopus, whose heads are encircled with tentacles. Cuttlefish have a relatively well-developed brain, sensitive organs of smell and hearing, highly developed eyes, and a relatively advanced reproductive system.

There are more than 100 species of cuttlefish common in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean, the European Atlantic coast, and abundant in the Indian Ocean, and western Pacific. Cuttlefish are found in shallow, sandy, coastal waters, where they feed upon their usual diet of shrimp. Cuttlefish are not found in the oceans around the United States.

The smallest species of cuttlefish (Hemisepies typicus ), grows to about 3 in (7.5 cm) long, while the largest species (Sepia latimanus ) can reach up to 5.5 ft (1.6 m) in length. The best known species of cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, or common cuttlefish, grows up to about 3 ft (91 cm) long, including its tentacles.

Cuttlefish have 10 tentacles (decapod), eight of which are short and have rows of suckers at their ends. The other two tentacles are longer and are retractable tentacles that can be used to catch prey. These tentacles have club-shaped ends with suckers, which can catch prey faster than the tongue of a lizard or frog, and can retract into sockets beside each eye. The cuttlefish mouth bears a strong beaklike structure that can bite and tear the prey, and cuttlefish salivary glands can secrete an immobilizing poison with the saliva.

The skin of a cuttlefish has pigment cells (chromatophores) that are under nervous and hormonal control, which enable the animal to become red, orange, yellow, brown, or black. Cuttlefish are often colored brownish green with white, irregular stripes that provide camouflage among seaweed. Cuttlefish also have a purple ribbonlike fin running the length of the body, and they are iridescent in sunlight. Cuttlefish can change their color and pattern in a fraction of a second, a behavior that is thought to be a form of communication. They can become difficult to see when they take on the colors and designs of their surrounding environment, including other cuttlefish.

The body of a cuttlefish is a flattened oval and supported by a shield shaped, internal, calcareous shell that contains a number of tiny, gas filled chambers. The cuttlebone has a hydrostatic functionit can change the proportion of gas and liquid it contains, thus controlling its specific gravity. Cuttlefish bones are used in bird cages as a good source of calcium, and to help keep the birds beak trimmed. Cuttlefish bone is also pulverized and used in polish.

Cuttlefish swim by undulating their side fins and by using a funnel in the mantle cavity to maintain a stationary position in the water and to propel itself backward with a great deal of speed if necessary. The cuttlefish can control the direction of the funnel, and so control the force with which the water is expelled. Another defense capability of the funnel is a brownish black ink (called sepia) that is ejected when danger is sensed. The pigment in the ink is made of copper and iron, which are extracted from the cephalopods blood. The sepia ink is also known as India ink and is used by artists and industries as a pigment for paints, inks, and dyes.

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Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish are squid-like cephalopod mollusks of the family Sepiidae, in the order Sepioidea. Cephalopod literally means "head-footed animal" and is the name given to advanced mollusks (such as cuttlefish, squid and octopus ) whose heads are circled with tentacles. Cuttlefish have a relatively well-developed brain , sensitive organs of smell and hearing , highly developed eyes, and a relatively advanced reproductive system.

There are more than 100 species of cuttlefish common in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean, the European Atlanticcoast, and abundant in the Indian Ocean, and western Pacific. Cuttlefish are found in shallow, sandy, coastal waters, where they feed upon their usual diet of shrimp . Cuttlefish are not found in the oceans around the United States. The smallest species of cuttlefish (Hemisepies typicus), grows to about 3 in (7.5 cm) long, while the largest species (Sepia latimanus) can reach up to 5.5 ft (1.6 m) in length. The best known species of cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, or common cuttlefish, grows up to about 3 ft (91 cm) long, including its tentacles.

Cuttlefish have ten tentacles (decapod), eight of which are short and have rows of suckers at their ends. The other two tentacles are longer and are retractable tentacles that can be used to catch prey . These tentacles have club-shaped ends with suckers, which can catch prey faster than the tongue of a lizard or frog, and can retract into sockets beside each eye . The cuttlefish mouth bears a strong beak-like structure that can bite and tear the prey, and cuttlefish salivary glands can secrete an immobilizing poison with the saliva.

The skin of a cuttlefish has pigment cells (chromatophores) that are under nervous and hormonal control, which enables the animal to become red, orange, yellow, brown, or black. Cuttlefish are often colored brownish green with white, irregular stripes that provide a perfect camouflage among seaweed. Cuttlefish also have a purple ribbon-like fin running the length of the body, and they are iridescent in sunlight. Cuttlefish can change their color and pattern at will, in a fraction of a second, a behavior which is thought to be a form of communication. They can become invisible by taking on the colors and designs of their surrounding environment, including other cuttlefish.

The body of a cuttlefish is a flattened oval and supported by a shield shaped, internal, calcareous (calcium ) shell that contains a number of tiny, gas filled chambers. The cuttlebone has a hydrostatic function—it can change the proportion of gas and liquid it contains, thus controlling its specific gravity. Cuttlebones are used in bird cages as a good source of calcium, and to help keep the bird's beak trimmed. Cuttlefish bone is also pulverized and used in polish.

These mollusks swim by undulating their side fins and by using a funnel in the mantle cavity to maintain a stationary position in the water and to propel itself backward with a great deal of speed if necessary. The cuttlefish can control the direction of the funnel, and so control the force with which the water is expelled. Another defense capability of the funnel is a brownish black ink (called sepia) that is ejected when danger is sensed. The pigment in the ink is made of copper and iron , which are extracted from the cephalopod's blood . The sepia ink is the original India ink and is used by artists and industries as a pigment for paints, inks, and dyes.

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