What is a CUTTLEFISH? A cuttlefish is a type of mollusk, related to octopus, squid, nautilus, snails, etc. with a special cuttlebone, which helps the cuttlefish control its depth in water. It has 8 arms and 2 longer tentacles it uses to grab prey from a distance and drag it into it Beak-like mouth. Its distinctive “w” shaped eyes are color blind, but can see very well. It has green-blue blood, 3 hearts, and large eyes and brain to body ratios. Cuttlefish have proven to be very intriguing to study for biologists.
Why not study an OCTOPUS? Cuttlefish have proven much more reliable than their octopus counterparts. Octopus have a tendency to be smart one day, and stupid the rest of the week, not to mention destroy equipment. If it can be torn apart, an octopus will tear it up. Furthermore, octopus prefer solitary lives, whereas cuttlefish can live in groups, so cuttlefish can be used to study social learning behaviors. Octopus have simply have less use to scientists, compared to the abilities of the cuttlefish.
CUTTLEFISH are better than In tests, Cuttlefish have shown that they can learn using visual clues to determine how to exit a maze set up by scientists. Although they aren’t yet known to be smarter than other cephalopods, cuttlefish are clearly better at performing the tests scientists have given them. I hate cuttlefish
CUTTLEFISH can solve mazes (lol) In one test, cuttlefish are placed in a cylindrical tank full of water. There are two doors, one with a yellow rim and one with a yellow and black stripes rim. Depending on one of two different objects, one of the doors is blocked by a plastic covering, while the other leads to the rest of the tank. This type of learning is called “serial reversal learning" or a "learning set”, which cuttlefish have successfully done, learning how to perform the maze.
CUTTLEFISH have a changing Adaptation The cuttlefish has evolved an amazing adaptation to their environment. Since they long lost their protective shell, they are very venerable. The skin of a cuttlefish has evolved to change its color, pattern, and shape. To cloak, they make themselves look like their environment, and for prey, they have a dazzling display of flashing stripes which paralyzes the prey so it can eat it. Better yet, Cuttlefish have evolved to be intelligent. As an example, in addition to mazes, biologists have placed crabs, which is on the cuttlefish’s diet, in glass bottles. After a few times failing to eat the crab, after paralyzing it with its color display, they give up. Their evolution has brought them to a surprising level of evolution, not shared by relatives like clams or snails. How natural selection made cuttlefish intelligent may enlighten us on how natural selection made us intelligent, not to mention the other smart animals.
I like saying CUTTLEFISH because they are so smart Since males severely outnumber females in cuttlefish, competition for mating is very high. Big males fight it out, but small males have no chance to win that way. Instead, small male cuttlefish pretend to be female cuttlefish, so they can sneak in. Females recognize this intelligent strategy, and they often mate with smart small males than big hefty males. Cuttlefish live only a few years, so learning is very important. Their adaptations have made them an effective predator and surviving as prey.
Article: "Spineless Smarts" Interviewee: Jean Boal: associate professor at Millersville University in Pennsylvania (seen to the left) Interview by Gisela Kaufmann Edited by Rima Chaddha, assistant editor of NOVA online Posted by Nova, PBS
References: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/spineless-smarts.html "MRom300.wav" music from Star Trek: Armada 1 Google Images, for the photos of Cuttlefish http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/camo/anatomy.html Discovery News for the video about Cuttlefish
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