mA­tu­rity

World of Animals - - All About Cuttlefish -

rapid growth 6 months Feed­ing on tiny prey to match their size, the young cut­tles hunt vo­ra­ciously and grow very quickly. young adult­hood 12–18 months As they ma­ture, cut­tle­fish get stronger. Their diet changes to hunt­ing fish and other cephalopods as their en­ergy re­quire­ments in­crease.

mat­ing sea­son 13–20 months Cut­tle­fish make their way to shal­lower wa­ter to mate. It’s one of the only times that large num­bers of these crit­ters get to­gether. egg fer­til­i­sa­tion 14–20 months Males put on elab­o­rate dis­plays to at­tract mates. They then pass a pocket of sperm to the fe­male, who fer­tilises her eggs as she lays them. end of life Up to 2 years Male cut­tle­fish die shortly after mat­ing, while fe­males will wait for their eggs to hatch be­fore they per­ish.

“The blood that the hearts pump is a blue-green colour thanks to haemo­cyanin, which con­tains cop­per”

Di­ges­tiveglandMan­tleGillStom­achHeartFinAc­ces­sory heart Brain The cut­tle­fish brain is ar­rangedin a donut shape, which sur­rounds the oe­soph­a­gus. It has one of the largest brainto-body size ra­tios ofany in­ver­te­brate. Skin Ca­pa­ble of flash­ing in­cred­i­ble colours when threat­ened, the chro­matophores on the flam­boy­ant cut­tle­fish’sskin il­lu­mi­nate as a re­sponse to preda­tors. Cut­tle­bone Pro­vid­ing buoy­ancy and sta­bil­ity, the light, por­ous bone that runs through­out the cut­tle­fish’s body is made mainly of cal­cium car­bon­ate.Ink sacFound near the cut­tle­fish’s siphon,the ink sac also con­tains the ink glandwhere the fluid is pro­duced. When full, the sac is ready to be ex­pelled to de­ter any ap­proach­ingpreda­tors.Cir­cu­la­tory sys­temCut­tle­fish have three hearts – one for each gill and one for the rest of the body. The blood that the hearts pump is a blue-green colour thanks to haemo­cyanin,which con­tains cop­per.

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