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Cuttles!

When I'm not webcomicking or fuzzballing, I study cuttlefish for my Honours project.

This is what my cuttlefish look like. Cuttlefish are relatives of squid and octopus (they're cephalopod molluscs).

This species, Sepia plangon, is about 10cm long and lives around Sydney, but no work has been done on it before now.

What I'm doing at the moment is making an inventory of all the behaviours they display. This includes some fantastic colour/shape and posture changes: they can go from completely black with knobbles all over them and kinked-up arms to nearly white, with black spots like eyes and a black rim around the margin, they can have a kind of black latticework pattern, or show up their pattern of white stripes against a dark background as in the photo.

Then I'll do some more serious experimenting on their reaction to stimuli from prey. Except there's a bit of a hiccup with that right now owing to them being more inclined to run away from the crabs than attack them...

I think they like to be in pairs, otherwise they get lonely and scared and eventually die.

Poor things. But they're very cute. You can watch a little video I made of them catching a fish here.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 10, 2004 3:12 PM.

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