Cut­tle­fish mimic her­mit crabs

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Fishkeeping News -

Cut­tle­fish have been filmed ap­par­ently imi­tat­ing her­mit crabs.

Re­searchers from Ja­pan first spot­ted the odd be­hav­iour in Pharaoh cut­tle­fish,

Sepia pharao­nis, while feed­ing them in the lab at the Univer­sity of the Ryukyus.

The cut­tle­fish raise their front arms and wave them about, while bend­ing those be­hind to make them look as though they are jointed, like legs of crabs.

They were filmed im­per­son­at­ing her­mits when prey was present. As her­mit crabs aren’t preda­tors, re­searchers think it could be a method of lulling po­ten­tial prey into a false sense of se­cu­rity be­fore strik­ing. But the mimicry could also be use­ful in de­fence, by fool­ing preda­tors into think­ing the soft-bod­ied cut­tle­fish are cov­ered in a hard shell.

Watch the video at pfk­mag.com/cgkpu

Cut­tle­fish — or crab?

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