Diving In Singapore: Creatures of the Night!
Featuring: Our Singapore Cuttlefish! (Sepiida)
In the wild, cuttlefish seem to be more nocturnal creatures, tending to feed and perform its predatory ambushes at night.
They're Masters of Camouflage: Like the chameleon, cuttlefish can change their colour and texture to blend into their surroundings. This trick allows them to hold their disguise for long periods to avoid being detected – or eaten. This skill also helps them snatch their own prey by allowing them to remain almost invisible as they wait for fish and crustaceans to come by.
Cuttlefish Can Count: Researchers found that the creatures had no problem picking larger quantities of shrimp over smaller quantities. But they could also choose the richer shrimp chamber even in cases of narrow ratios, such as four shrimp in one chamber versus five in the other.
Their Ink Is Useful: cuttlefish ink – which they squirt at predators — was once used for writing and drawing! Nowadays, people mainly use the ink for cooking – it's a key part of some pasta and seafood dishes.
Cuttlefish Are Not Afraid to Brawl: Any cuttlefish who comes for another's mate or otherwise angers him should be prepared to for a faceful of ink and some pretty vicious fighting manoeuvres.
They Have a Hidden Weapon: Underneath the cuttlefish's many tentacles lies a razor-sharp beak, much like that of your average parrot. This tool allows the cuttlefish to nosh on crab, mollusks and other hard-shelled animals. The hidden weapon is extra vicious because it sports a toxin designed to freeze prey in their tracks once bitten.
They Can Gender Bend: The big, brawny males usually win the lady cuttlefish, but every once in a while, a small male gets his chance. He does this by splitting his colours to show typically "female patterns" on the side of his body facing a larger male while showing his "masculine" side to the female of his choice. Then he sidles up to her and commences mating before the other male has figured it out.
They're Shockingly Lazy — For a Good Reason: Cuttlefish spend about 95 percent of their time resting. Although this seems like a major about-face for a species that can be so aggressive, it's actually a smart manoeuvre. Cuttlefish only live a couple of years at most, but they grow rapidly (up to about 23 pounds or 10.5 kilograms), so too much activity means they don't grow to their full potential. Hence the seemingly excessive down-time.
Did You Know?