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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Cuttlefish For Kids

Cuttlefish facts are fascinating to look at!

Cuttlefish are marine animals that look very similar to a squid and an octopus. There are over 100, almost 120, cuttlefish species in the world. The facts about cuttlefish are extremely fascinating. They have very large gills, ten arms, and a head bigger than their body. Their skin color is not stable and it changes for various reasons. The cuttlefish mantle helps it to move in different directions. The cuttlefish bone, known as cuttlebone, is an internal shell and helps the cuttlefish maintain its buoyancy. The cuttlebone is often used to make jewelry after extraction.

Another one of the interesting facts about cuttlefish is that it has three hearts all of which can pump blood. Only two of them pump blood into its gills and the other one pumps blood to the other organs of its body. The cuttlefish camouflage is one of the most interesting facts about cuttlefish. These cephalopods' color-changing ability lets them match their surroundings and often saves them from their predators. Cuttlefish also match their surroundings in order to hunt as well as to attract each other during mating season. The males change color to attract the female while the female changes color to let the male know that it is ready for mating.

While there have been many debates about the cuttlefish vs squid in taste, they are both equally tasty and well-loved in many countries across the world. The cuttlefish is often considered a cheaper seafood alternative in many places. Read on to find out more about the cuttlefish's amazing abilities! If you find our content interesting and informative then check out swai fish and mimic octopus facts too.

Cuttlefish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Cuttlefish?

Even though its name has ‘fish’ in it, a cuttlefish is not actually a type of fish. The cuttlefish is a type of marine mollusks, closely related to squids and octopuses.

What class of animal does a Cuttlefish belong to?

The cuttlefish belongs to the cephalopod class.

How many Cuttlefish are there in the world?

There are almost 120 different species of cuttlefish present all over the globe, with hundreds of them in each.

Where does a Cuttlefish live?

Cuttlefishes are found mainly in the ocean or in the muddy parts of the ocean. These cephalopods prefer living in shallow temperate or tropical coastal waters during summer. They migrate during winter into deeper waters.

What is a Cuttlefish's habitat?

Cuttlefishes are found all over the world in oceans. The cephalopods are found in tropical or temperate warm waters or in cold waters depending on the season. They are found in the colder parts of the ocean in winter and they migrate into the water's shallow parts during breeding season i.e. in summer and spring.

Who do Cuttlefish live with?

Cuttlefish is a solitary fish. They prefer living on their own and only come out during mating season i.e. during summer and spring.

How long does a Cuttlefish live?

These mollusks are solitary creatures. They show rapid growth and have a short span of life. Female cuttlefishes die after laying their eggs. They reach maturity within the first 14-18 months of their birth. Most of them have a life span of one to two years.

How do they reproduce?

Different species of cuttlefish have different ways of reproduction, but all of them reproduce by a polygynous mating system. The male cuttlefish changes color rapidly in bands over their body in order to attract the females while the female displays the color gray on their body when they are ready to reproduce. Also during the mating period, the male cuttlefish engages in fights with others in order to guard their females in a phenomenon known as mate guarding.

They mate with the help of internal fertilization. The males deposit sperms using their tentacle arms into the buccal membrane of the female. The female carries almost 150-4000 eggs and can lay many eggs at a time. However, both the male and the female die after this process. Almost 100 to 1000  offspring are born every breeding season.

What is their conservation status?

Studies show cuttlefish have no problem with extinction. They are found in abundance due to their breeding system. They are fished all over the world like common fishes and thus, have no special conservation status. Their conversation status is Data Deficient on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.

Cuttlefish Fun Facts

What do Cuttlefish look like?

A cuttlefish resembles both an octopus and a squid. They have large heads with big eyes, beak as a mouth, and elongated bodies. These marine animals have eight feelers just like an octopus and have two more tentacles that help them catch their prey. When not in use, the tentacles withdraw into pouches. The suction disks of these tentacles and arms are used to catch and immobilize prey and can also be utilized to move around. The cuttlefish has a single, muscular fin which they use to move in every direction. It has a large bone known as the cuttlebone which helps it to maintain its buoyancy. The marine animals change the color of their body from blue-green gray and many others to attract mates or protect themselves.

Cuttlefish is a color-changing species.

How cute are they?

Cuttlefish are not considered cute due to their appearance. The sheer number of tentacles on them makes them look dangerous.

How do they communicate?

Cuttlefish use their well-developed eyes using visual cues to communicate with their prey as well as other cuttlefishes. They also change the color of their body in order to communicate, especially during mating season, the male cuttlefish change color to attract female cuttlefish while the females change their color to gray in order to project that they are ready. The cuttlefish also communicates by holding its tentacles at certain positions or swimming in certain ways. They sometimes eject black ink in order to portray when they are feeling threatened.

How big is a Cuttlefish?

The cuttlefish's size generally varies from 6-10 in (15-25 cm) lengthwise with a weight of about 6.6-23 lb (3-10.5 kg).

How fast can a Cuttlefish swim?

The cuttlefish swims or hovers rather slowly by moving the fins on its side. They can however swim backward with rather violent backward flips.

How much does a Cuttlefish weigh?

A cuttlefish weighs around 6.6-23 lb (3-10.5 kg). There are almost 100 species of cuttlefish all over the world and the largest species among them is the Australian giant cuttlefish which weighs above 22 lb (10 kg) and can grow up to 3 ft or a meter. The smallest ones do not exceed one inch (45 mm) lengthwise.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male counterpart is known as a male cuttlefish while the female one is known as a female cuttlefish.

What would you call a baby Cuttlefish?

A baby cuttlefish is known as a baby male or a female cuttlefish depending on its sex.

What do they eat?

Cuttlefish feeds on smaller fishes, crustaceans like lobsters, crabs, woodlice, shrimp, and even other cuttlefishes. They catch their prey with the help of their two special tentacles. These arms also have suction disks that immobilize the prey helping them feed. The cuttlefish often sneak up to their prey and are referred to as ambush predators due to their style of hunting. In certain studies, it has come up that embryos of cuttlefish often observe prey from inside their eggshells with their highly developed eyes. For example, if a hatchling observed shrimp, it would prefer shrimps over other prey.

Are they dangerous?

While they are not dangerous to humans or to larger fishes, the cuttlefish is dangerous to their catch. They produce special toxins through their two special tentacles’ suction disks which immobilizes the catch. The male cuttlefishes are also dangerous to each other during mating season. They tend to get competitive and even engage in fights while guarding their females. This phenomenon is known as mate guarding.

Would they make a good pet?

Although their habitat choices do not allow them to be kept as pets, the cuttlefish would, in theory, make a surprisingly good pet because of their high intelligence.

Did you know...

Cuttlefishes are very intelligent, often considered the most intelligent marine animals, and some species of them are even compared to intelligent vertebrates due to their behavioral actions. These cuttlefishes can distinguish between low-quality foods like prawns or crab and high-quality foods like live shrimp. They tend to let go of the low-quality ones in order to get rewarded with the higher quality ones.

Can you eat cuttlefish?

Cuttlefishes are extremely common all over the world and are eaten by humans. It is well-loved in countries like Spain and Italy and is very commonly found in the United Kingdom. Most of the cuttlefishes of the U.K. are exported. These are very tasty, cooked in a number of different preparations, and are considered a cheaper alternative for many kinds of seafood.

What is special about cuttlefish?

Cuttlefishes are very special because there are over a hundred different cuttlefish species in the world. Some of the most commonly known cuttlefishes are the European Common Cuttlefish or Common Cuttlefish, Pacific Bobtail Squid, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, and the Tropical Bottletail Squid or Koch’s Bottletail Squid.

The Common Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) is a large breed and is the most popular among all the species of cuttlefish.

Pacific Bobtail Squid (Sepioloidea pacifica) is found near the west and east coast of New Zealand in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) is found near islands like Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and also in northern Australia, especially the Indo-Pacific region. This species cannot be eaten because of this cuttelfish's flesh which contains a strange toxin making it poisonous.

Lastly, the Tropical Bottletail Squid (Sepiadarium kochi) found in the Indo-Malayan area, from Japan to India, in the Indo-West Pacific region. These can be eaten and have a small mantle size of one inch (3 cm).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including codfish, or fluke fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our cuttlefish coloring pages.

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