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a genus of cephalopod mollusks of the order Decapoda. The body is elongated (up to 25 cm) and flattened, and there are fins on the sides. The arms are equipped with suckers; the two longest arms are wider at the ends and serve to capture prey. The shell is internal, located under a mantle on the back. The secretion of the large ink gland (an outgrowth of the rectum) is a means of defense. The cuttlefish of this genus can expel it into the water as an “ink bomb,” similar in shape to the animal itself, thus confusing and disorienting the enemy. Upon contact with the enemy, the bomb bursts, forming a “smoke screen.” The Sepia are bottom dwellers, and their body color harmonizes with the substratum. They crawl along the bottom with the help of their arms and swim slowly with their fins. They can also swim rapidly by expelling a jet of water from the mantle. The Sepia inhabit coastal waters (to a depth of 200 m) of tropical and warm seas. Their flesh is edible. The secretion of the ink gland (sepia) is used in painting as a very durable dark-brown color.
I. M. LIKHAREV
a light brown coloring substance. Natural sepia is obtained from the ink sac of the sepia, a marine mollusk. The sepia used in art today is a kind of watercolor that is prepared artificially in many tonal variations. Sepia is also a graphic technique that has been popular throughout Europe since the mid-18th century: a famous artist who used the technique is J. H. Fragonard in France.