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common name applied to cephalopod mollusks that have 10 tentacles, or arms, 8 of which have muscular suction cups on their inner surface and 2 that are longer and can shoot out for grasping prey, and a reduced internal shell enbedded in the enveloping mantle. The body is short, broad, and flattened. Cuttlefish are carnivorous and excellent at capturing prey with their arms.

Although good swimmers, they are not as fast as the related squidssquid,
carnivorous marine cephalopod mollusk. The squid is one of the most highly developed invertebrates, well adapted to its active, predatory life. The characteristic molluscan shell is reduced to a horny plate shaped like a quill pen and buried under the mantle.
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, but like the squids cuttlefish have lateral fins used as stabilizers and for steering and propulsion. They swim by jet propulsion, forcibly expelling water through a siphon. During the day they lie buried in the bottom of the ocean; at night they swim and hunt for food.

Except for the squid genus Loligo, cuttlefish have the best cephalopod eyes, which are highly complex. When disturbed, cuttlefish eject a cloud of dark brown ink from an ink sac for protection. The ink gland and ink sac are specializations of the rectal gland. The ink is composed mostly of melanin and has been used as the artist's pigment, sepia. All cuttlefish are dioecious, i.e., the sexes are separate.

The common, worldwide, deepwater cuttlefish, genus Spirula, is considered a "living fossil" because it possesses a remnant of the external shell of the ancient cephalopods. These cuttlefish have a small, coiled internal shell containing a bubble of gas (nitrogen), which serves as a float in the ocean. The European cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, possesses a degenerate internal shell composed of lime, which is popularly called cuttlebone. Within the narrow spaces between the thin septa of the shell are fluid and gas (mostly nitrogen), which give the organism buoyancy. These cuttlefish are found in the Mediterranean and E Atlantic. The cuttlebone is used for pet birds as a source of lime salts. Sepia are able to undergo a complex of color changes ranging from pink to brown with varying stripes and spots, usually displayed when they are disturbed. The eggs, deposited singly and attached by a stalk to objects on the ocean bottom, are extremely large, up to .6 in. (15 mm) in diameter. The smallest cuttlefish, Idiosepius, inhabits tide pools and attains a length of .6 in. (15 mm). Cuttlefish are classified in the phylum MolluscaMollusca
, taxonomic name for the one of the largest phyla of invertebrate animals (Arthropoda is the largest) comprising more than 50,000 living mollusk species and about 35,000 fossil species dating back to the Cambrian period.
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, class Cephalopoda, order Sepioidea.


(invertebrate zoology)
An Old World decapod mollusk of the genus Sepia; shells are used to manufacture dentifrices and cosmetics.


any cephalopod mollusc of the genus Sepia and related genera, which occur near the bottom of inshore waters and have a broad flattened body: order Decapoda (decapods)
References in periodicals archive ?
We screened and assessed variation at 17 microsatellite loci from three species of the cuttlefish genus of Sepia: Sepia officinalis, Sofl, Sof2, Sof6 (Shaw & Perez-Losada 2000); Sepia apama.
Two juvenile cuttlefish were filmed in tanks at the Sea Zoo and the large male was also filmed on display.
The cuttlefish collect on shallow rocky reefs to mate and lay eggs," Dr.
As Nancy Princenthal notes in her brief catalogue essay, "the mollusks are faceless and 'alien' except for their expressive eyes and: A tall, sagacious-looking octopus whom Fox calls the 'elder' is paired with a full-skirted 'dowager'; there is a cuttlefish 'butler', erect and tight-lipped and an octopus 'codger', its small eyes puffy-lidded and doleful.
In 2010, Hanlon and Lydia Mathger, a fellow researcher at his lab, published a study showing that the same gene that produces light-sensing molecules in the retina is distributed throughout the skin of cuttlefish.
To serve: Heat olive oil and saute cuttlefish strips for 1 minute.
After a short breather, it was time to move on to the cuttlefish.
MARINE biologists at the Anglesey Sea Zoo have welcomed their latest new arrivals - baby cuttlefish The tourist attraction is breeding them to reduce the pressure on wild stocKs.
I saw manta rays, cuttlefish, lionfish, Nemos (clown fish) and massive potato cod--one was about as big as me.
Landings of cuttlefish, squid and black tiger prawns were higher and lent a hand in lowering the domestic price, helping India become more competitive in the global market, according to a report in the Financial Express.
7 HUMBOLDT SQUID AND BROADCLUB CUTTLEFISH Massive yet incredibly fast, the predatory Humboldt squid (dubbed diablo rojo) "speaks" by rapidly changing the tone of its red skin.
Birds are stupid and noisy and smell strangely of cuttlefish bone.