The Master of Disguise

I wanted to write about something that initially made me interested in marine biology, and that is the Cuttlefish. This animal is a mollusk in the phylum Cephalopoda along with the Nautilus and Octopus. The Cuttlefish has the ability to disguise itself by changing its color and its apparent texture. Not only can it change its color to blend in but it can also flash different colors rapidly when excited.
There is a giant Australian cuttlefish which is very popular with divers. During their mating season they become relatively outgoing and follow divers around and will even allow them to pet them. Another interesting thing about Cuttlefish is that their bone is used widely for dietary supplement for birds.
Although cuttlefish, like octopi, have the ability to ink, they only rely on that defense mechanism as a last resort, and would rather use their camoflauge to hide from predators. They also have three hearts which are used for both of the gills and then the rest of the body. Their blood is a blue-green color since the pigment that carries oxygen in their blood is hemocyanin, not hemoglobin, which is the pigment we have in our blood that makes it red.
Cuttlefish have three structures in their skin called chromatophores, leucophores and iridophores which is why they can change colors rapidly, and is controlled by the nervous system. They also have eyes, just like octopi, which are very similar to humans eyes as well. This organism is highly adapted and very intriguing and is the reason I first became interested in marine biology and am now studying it!

“Common Cuttlefishes, Sepia officinalis ~ MarineBio.org.” MarineBio Conservation Society, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. Tuesday, February 19, 2013. <http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=540>.

- Kelsey Wagner

 

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 5:58 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.