Cuttlefish – Part two: (Feeding – reproduction – Utilization) – Video

This video was filmed in the Sea World (San Diego, USA) by the founder of this channel during January 2015.

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the video channel)



Introduction:Cuttlefish are small to medium sized marine animals that belong to the class Cephalopoda, which also includes squids, and octopodes. Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but they are molluscs.

There are more than 100 species of cuttlefish which significantly vary in size from the small ones of about 15 cm in length to the Australian giant cuttlefish which can grow to up to about 50 cm in length (excluding its tentacles) and about 10 kg in weight.

Based on research findings, cuttlefish have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates indicating that cuttlefish are among the most intelligent invertebrates.


Feeding: Cuttlefish are active predators which swim at night and hunt for food that are primarily small crustaceans such as shrimp and crabs. They also eat small fish and even other cuttlefish. They use their camouflage to hunt for food. Also, through shooting out a jet of water, cuttlefish would uncover shrimp and crab which could bury in the sand.  They also shoot the two long feeding tentacles to seize its prey and with the pad covered in suckers, the prey animals are moved towards the cuttlefish peak. They can use their beaks located in the middle of their arms to break the shells of their food.

On the other hand, the cuttlefish being relatively of small size, they are subject to many marine predators including dolphins, sharks, fish, seals, seabirds, and other cuttlefish.


Reproduction: On the average, cuttlefish hatchlings reach sexual maturity at 14 to 18 months of age. During the mating season, male cuttlefish change their body colors and may become engaged in special displays to attract a female. However, fighting over females is common in cuttlefish. The winner male cuttlefish mate with the females and transfer a sperm mass to the female’s mantle. Few hours later, the female cuttlefish lays around 200 small eggs that are fertilized by the stored sperm. According to studies, it is Interesting to know that in case when a female cuttlefish mates with several males, she stores the sperm individually before deciding which mated male will be the father of the progeny. Researchers suggest that this manner is a means of selection in cuttlefish populations.

The laid eggs ae attached onto objects on the seafloor such as shells, rocks and seaweeds. The female stays with the eggs until they hatch, but both patents (male and female) die shortly afterward.

Utilization:Cuttlefish are either fish are either fished commercially, or caught as bycatch. They may be used for food in the Mediterranean, East Asia, and elsewhere and considered a popular food. Depending on consumer preference and food habits, cuttlefish is prepared in different forms and dishes including dried, shredded, grilled, breaded, deep-fried and others.

Cuttlebones from dead cuttlefish that are found washed ashore, are sold as a dietary calcium/mineral for domestic/caged birds.

Away from food or supplement purposes, Jeweler and silversmiths traditionally use cuttlebones as molds for casting small items.


References: A-Z Animals, ARKIVE, BBC Nature,, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Wikipedia


Note: Part one on cuttlefish covers: Distribution, description, ink, changing color and swimming


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