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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 hidden at 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, or common European, cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, possesses an 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, which they display when they are signaling or are disturbed; they also can change color and texture to camouflage themselves. 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. 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 Sepiida.

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(invertebrate zoology)
An Old World decapod mollusk of the genus Sepia; shells are used to manufacture dentifrices and cosmetics.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Economic utilisation of tuna, sardine, mackerel anchovies, perches, seer fish, pomfrets, gel, carb, oyster, cuttle fish, squid etc should also be explored.
Kim, Analysis of Radiolytic Products of Lipid for the Detection of Irradiated Dried Cuttle Fish (Sepia officinalis).
the flying SHUTTLE COCK gave the CUTTLE fish a SHOCK
Keith Ryder took seven fish from Cambois weighing 32lb 4oz, the best 6lb 12oz, on cocktails of bluey, squid, crab and cuttle fish.
Dubai and China have become permanent and major markets for shrimp, squid and cuttle fish with well paid price offers.
The beach is on a wee island just off the mainland and we have a great morning but by lunchtime we are so hot we retire to a restaurant where we eat cuttle fish, squid and sardines with salad and the obligatory rosA wine.
Value Fish fresh chilled or frozen 7 10.67 9 13.09 18 25.17 Fish dried salted or smoked 20 12.40 20 14.42 25 16.34 Shrimps (Prawns) 14 59.95 16 77.79 16 60.24 Lobsters and Crabs 1 2.76 1 1.98 1 1.08 Cuttle fish octopus 3 4.80 2 3.98 5 6.48 Preparations 1 3.82 1 3.67 1 5.40 TOTAL: 46 94.40 49 114.93 66 114.71 Source: Export Promotion Bureau, Government of Pakistan
Chairman Pakistan Fisheries Exporters Association (PFEA), Faisal Iftikhar pointed out that exporters had been getting 30 percent higher prices of Squid and Cuttle fish in world markets especially in China.