Flamboyant Cuttlefish

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Metasepia Pfefferi, or Pfeffer’s flamboyant cuttlefish, is truly one of the most amazing creatures on the planet. They are simply magical.

The flamenco dancer of the cuttlefish world, the flamboyant cuttlefish is a perpetual color machine, continually flashing vibrant yellow, maroon, brown, white and red along its body.

Photo by Scubamama

Within seconds of emerging from the egg, they show these beautiful dark markings contrasting with brilliant pink tentacles. “It’s incredible—unmatched in the animal kingdom!”

Flamboyant Cuttlefish Eggs Photo by Scubamama
Photo by Pipat Kosumlaksamee
Photo by Pipat Kosumlaksamee

Flamboyant cuttlefish are not fish but are cephalopods related to squid, octopus and chambered nautilus. The cuttlefish’s flat body allows it to live and hover near the ocean bottom where it finds its favorite food. An outer shell once covered the cuttlefish’s body but has since evolved into a porous internal shell called a cuttlebone.

They have incredibly wonderful eyes, highly developed and powerful organs with w shaped pupils that would outperform our own. This strong visual acuity, coupled with a powerful brain and tentacles that are as dexterous as a human hand, has led to the most wonderful thing about cuttlefish of all.

They are geniuses. Seriously, their minds are a complex domain that science is only starting to explore.

They are the only poisonous cuttlefish, and one of only three poisonous cephalopods. Their muscle tissue contains a highly potent and rare toxin that science still doesn’t fully understand. Those bright colors that make this guy so flamboyant are a statement to the world. “Don’t eat me, or you will die.”

The Flamboyant doesn’t swim and hover midwater like other cuttlefish. Instead, it crawls on the seafloor like an octopus.

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More Interesting Facts About Flamboyant Cuttlefish:

1. These cute little guys have a body that grows up to 8cm long.
2. As their name suggests, the flamboyant cuttlefish are very colorful. They can change their color to reflect their mood, attract a mate or to camouflage themselves while hunting. They can turn brown, black, white, yellow or red and with different patterns.
3. Scientists recently found out that they have poisonous muscle tissue and they are as toxic as the southern blue-ringed octopus.
4. They live on the bottom of the sea and are the only species of cuttlefish known to use their tentacles to walk along the sea floor as they hunt small fish and crustaceans.
5. The flamboyant cuttlefish live in the waters off northern Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.
6. These cuttlefish live about a year
7. Flamboyants eat a variety of foods. Babies are fed mysid and brine shrimp, and adults are fed fish, crabs and shrimp.
8. Males fight for choice mating dens. Most fights end without major injuries. After the males win their territory, female cuttlefish appear at the dens and mate with resident males. Fertilization is internal.

 

Video Credit: Marco Vincent Dive Resort 

A closer look at the Flamboyant cuttlefish, one of the freaks of nature that you can see diving around Puerto Galera.

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November 14, 2016 |

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