Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish

Overview
Cuttlefish are marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 animals of the order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Sepiida. They belong to the class
Class (biology)
In biological classification, class is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, order, family, genus, and species, with class fitting between phylum and order...

 Cephalopod
Cephalopod
A cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda . These exclusively marine animals are characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a set of arms or tentacles modified from the primitive molluscan foot...

a (which also includes squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

, octopus
Octopus
The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms...

es, and nautilus
Nautilus
Nautilus is the common name of marine creatures of cephalopod family Nautilidae, the sole extant family of the superfamily Nautilaceae and of its smaller but near equal suborder, Nautilina. It comprises six living species in two genera, the type of which is the genus Nautilus...

es). Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but molluscs.

Cuttlefish have an internal shell
Mollusc shell
The mollusc shell is typically a calcareous exoskeleton which encloses, supports and protects the soft parts of an animal in the phylum Mollusca, which includes snails, clams, tusk shells, and several other classes...

 (the cuttlebone
Cuttlebone
Cuttlebone, also known as cuttlefish bone, is a hard, brittle internal structure found in all members of the family Sepiidae, commonly known as cuttlefish....

), large W-shaped pupil
Pupil
The pupil is a hole located in the center of the iris of the eye that allows light to enter the retina. It appears black because most of the light entering the pupil is absorbed by the tissues inside the eye. In humans the pupil is round, but other species, such as some cats, have slit pupils. In...

s, eight arm
Cephalopod arm
A cephalopod arm is distinct from a tentacle, though the terms are often used interchangeably.Generally, cephalopod arms have suckers along most of their length, as opposed to tentacles, which have suckers only near their ends. Octopuses have eight arms and no tentacles, while squid and cuttlefish...

s and two tentacle
Tentacle
A tentacle or bothrium is one of usually two or more elongated flexible organs present in animals, especially invertebrates. The term may also refer to the hairs of the leaves of some insectivorous plants. Usually, tentacles are used for feeding, feeling and grasping. Anatomically, they work like...

s furnished with denticulated suckers, with which they secure their prey. They generally range in size from 15 cm (5.9 in) to 25 cm (9.8 in), with the largest species
Cephalopod size
Size has been one of the most interesting aspects of cephalopod science to the general public. This article lists the largest cephalopods from various groups, sorted in order of mantle length, total length, weight, and shell diameter...

, Sepia apama, reaching 50 cm (19.7 in) in mantle
Mantle (mollusc)
The mantle is a significant part of the anatomy of molluscs: it is the dorsal body wall which covers the visceral mass and usually protrudes in the form of flaps well beyond the visceral mass itself.In many, but by no means all, species of molluscs, the epidermis of the mantle secretes...

 length and over 10.5 kg (23.1 lb) in weight.

Cuttlefish eat small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish, octopuses, worms, and other cuttlefish.
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Encyclopedia
Cuttlefish are marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 animals of the order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Sepiida. They belong to the class
Class (biology)
In biological classification, class is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, order, family, genus, and species, with class fitting between phylum and order...

 Cephalopod
Cephalopod
A cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda . These exclusively marine animals are characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a set of arms or tentacles modified from the primitive molluscan foot...

a (which also includes squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

, octopus
Octopus
The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms...

es, and nautilus
Nautilus
Nautilus is the common name of marine creatures of cephalopod family Nautilidae, the sole extant family of the superfamily Nautilaceae and of its smaller but near equal suborder, Nautilina. It comprises six living species in two genera, the type of which is the genus Nautilus...

es). Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but molluscs.

Cuttlefish have an internal shell
Mollusc shell
The mollusc shell is typically a calcareous exoskeleton which encloses, supports and protects the soft parts of an animal in the phylum Mollusca, which includes snails, clams, tusk shells, and several other classes...

 (the cuttlebone
Cuttlebone
Cuttlebone, also known as cuttlefish bone, is a hard, brittle internal structure found in all members of the family Sepiidae, commonly known as cuttlefish....

), large W-shaped pupil
Pupil
The pupil is a hole located in the center of the iris of the eye that allows light to enter the retina. It appears black because most of the light entering the pupil is absorbed by the tissues inside the eye. In humans the pupil is round, but other species, such as some cats, have slit pupils. In...

s, eight arm
Cephalopod arm
A cephalopod arm is distinct from a tentacle, though the terms are often used interchangeably.Generally, cephalopod arms have suckers along most of their length, as opposed to tentacles, which have suckers only near their ends. Octopuses have eight arms and no tentacles, while squid and cuttlefish...

s and two tentacle
Tentacle
A tentacle or bothrium is one of usually two or more elongated flexible organs present in animals, especially invertebrates. The term may also refer to the hairs of the leaves of some insectivorous plants. Usually, tentacles are used for feeding, feeling and grasping. Anatomically, they work like...

s furnished with denticulated suckers, with which they secure their prey. They generally range in size from 15 cm (5.9 in) to 25 cm (9.8 in), with the largest species
Cephalopod size
Size has been one of the most interesting aspects of cephalopod science to the general public. This article lists the largest cephalopods from various groups, sorted in order of mantle length, total length, weight, and shell diameter...

, Sepia apama, reaching 50 cm (19.7 in) in mantle
Mantle (mollusc)
The mantle is a significant part of the anatomy of molluscs: it is the dorsal body wall which covers the visceral mass and usually protrudes in the form of flaps well beyond the visceral mass itself.In many, but by no means all, species of molluscs, the epidermis of the mantle secretes...

 length and over 10.5 kg (23.1 lb) in weight.

Cuttlefish eat small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish, octopuses, worms, and other cuttlefish. Their predators include dolphins, sharks, fish, seals, seabirds and other cuttlefish. Their life expectancy is about one to two years. Recent studies indicate that cuttlefish are among the most intelligent
Cephalopod intelligence
Cephalopod intelligence has an important comparative aspect in the understanding of intelligence because it relies on a nervous system fundamentally different from that of vertebrates...

 invertebrates. Cuttlefish also have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates.

The 'cuttle' in 'cuttlefish' comes from the Old English word cudele, meaning 'cuttlefish', which may be cognate with the Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 koddi ('cushion', 'testicle') and the Middle Low German
Middle Low German
Middle Low German is a language that is the descendant of Old Saxon and is the ancestor of modern Low German. It served as the international lingua franca of the Hanseatic League...

 küdel ('pouch'). The Greco-Roman world valued the cephalopod as a source of the unique brown pigment
Pigment
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

 that the creature releases from its siphon when it is alarmed. The word for it in both Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and Latin, sepia, is now used to refer to a brown pigment
Sepia (color)
Sepia is a dark brown-grey color, named after the rich brown pigment derived from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish Sepia.The word sepia is the Latinized form of the Greek σηπία, sēpía, cuttlefish.-Sepia in human culture:...

 in English.

Cuttlebone



Cuttlefish possess an internal structure called the cuttlebone, which is porous and is made of aragonite
Aragonite
Aragonite is a carbonate mineral, one of the two common, naturally occurring, crystal forms of calcium carbonate, CaCO3...

. This provides the cuttlefish with buoyancy
Buoyancy
In physics, buoyancy is a force exerted by a fluid that opposes an object's weight. In a column of fluid, pressure increases with depth as a result of the weight of the overlying fluid. Thus a column of fluid, or an object submerged in the fluid, experiences greater pressure at the bottom of the...

, which it regulates by changing the gas-to-liquid ratio in the chambered cuttlebone via the ventral siphuncle
Siphuncle
The siphuncle is a strand of tissue passing longitudinally through the shell of a cephalopod mollusk. Only cephalopods with chambered shells have siphuncles, such as the extinct ammonites and belemnites, and the living nautiluses, cuttlefish, and Spirula...

. Each species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

' cuttlebone has a distinct shape, size, and pattern of ridges or texture. The cuttlebone is unique to cuttlefish, and is one of the features that distinguish them from their squid relatives. Jewelers and silversmiths traditionally use cuttlebones as moulds for casting
Casting
In metalworking, casting involves pouring liquid metal into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowing it to cool and solidify. The solidified part is also known as a casting, which is ejected or broken out of the mold to complete the process...

 small objects, but they are probably better known as the tough material given to parakeets and other caged birds as a source of dietary calcium.


Skin



Cuttlefish are sometimes referred to as the "chameleon of the sea" because of their remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin color at will. Cuttlefish change color and light polarisation to communicate to other cuttlefish and to camouflage themselves from predators.

This color-changing function is produced by groups of red, yellow, brown, and black pigment
Pigment
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

ed chromatophore
Chromatophore
Chromatophores are pigment-containing and light-reflecting cells found in amphibians, fish, reptiles, crustaceans, and cephalopods. They are largely responsible for generating skin and eye colour in cold-blooded animals and are generated in the neural crest during embryonic development...

s above a layer of reflective iridophores and leucophores, with up to 200 of these specialized pigment cells per square millimeter, which corresponds to about 359 DPI
Dots per inch
Dots per inch is a measure of spatial printing or video dot density, in particular the number of individual dots that can be placed in a line within the span of 1 inch . The DPI value tends to correlate with image resolution, but is related only indirectly.- DPI measurement in monitor...

. The pigmented chromatophores have a sac of pigment and a large membrane that is folded when retracted. There are 6 to 20 small muscle cells on the sides which can contract to squash the elastic sac into a disc against the skin. Yellow chromatophores (xanthophores) are closest to the surface of the skin, red and orange are below (erythrophores), and brown or black are just above the iridophore layer (melanophores). The iridophores reflect blue and green light. Iridophores are plates of chitin
Chitin
Chitin n is a long-chain polymer of a N-acetylglucosamine, a derivative of glucose, and is found in many places throughout the natural world...

 or protein, which can reflect the environment around a cuttlefish. They are responsible for the metallic blues, greens, golds, and silvers often seen on cuttlefish. All of these cells can be used in combinations. For example, orange is produced by red and yellow chromatophores, while purple can be created by a red chromatophore and an iridophore. The cuttlefish can also use an iridophore and a yellow chromatophore to produce a brighter green. As well as being able to influence the color of light as it reflects off their skin, cuttlefish can also affect the light's polarization, which can be used to signal to other marine animals, many of which can also sense polarization.

Eyes



Cuttlefish eyes are among the most developed in the animal kingdom. The organogenesis
Organogenesis
In animal development, organogenesis is the process by which the ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm develop into the internal organs of the organism. Internal organs initiate development in humans within the 3rd to 8th weeks in utero...

 of cephalopod eye
Cephalopod eye
Cephalopods, as active marine predators, possess sensory organs specialized for use in aquatic conditions. They have a camera-type eye, which consists of a lens projecting an image onto a retina. Unlike the vertebrate camera eye, the cephalopods' form as invaginations of the body surface , and...

s differs fundamentally from that of vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s like humans.
Superficial similarities between cephalopod and vertebrate eyes are thought to be examples of convergent evolution
Convergent evolution
Convergent evolution describes the acquisition of the same biological trait in unrelated lineages.The wing is a classic example of convergent evolution in action. Although their last common ancestor did not have wings, both birds and bats do, and are capable of powered flight. The wings are...

. The cuttlefish pupil is a smoothly-curving W shape. Although cuttlefish cannot see color, they can perceive the polarization of light, which enhances their perception of contrast. They have two spots of concentrated sensor cells on their retina
Retina
The vertebrate retina is a light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina, which serves much the same function as the film in a camera. Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical...

 (known as fovea
Fovea
The fovea centralis, also generally known as the fovea , is a part of the eye, located in the center of the macula region of the retina....

e), one to look more forward, and one to look more backward. The eye changes focus by reshaping the entire eye, instead of reshaping the lens as in mammals. Unlike the vertebrate eye, there is no blind spot
Blind spot (vision)
A blind spot, also known as a scotoma, is an obscuration of the visual field. A particular blind spot known as the blindspot, or physiological blind spot, or punctum caecum in medical literature, is the place in the visual field that corresponds to the lack of light-detecting photoreceptor cells on...

, because the optic nerve
Optic nerve
The optic nerve, also called cranial nerve 2, transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. Derived from the embryonic retinal ganglion cell, a diverticulum located in the diencephalon, the optic nerve doesn't regenerate after transection.-Anatomy:The optic nerve is the second of...

 is positioned behind the retina.

Scientists have speculated that cuttlefish's eyes are fully developed before birth and start observing their surroundings while still in the egg. One team of French researchers has additionally suggested that cuttlefish prefer to hunt the prey they saw before hatching.

Suckers


The suckers of cuttlefish extend most of the length of their arms and along the distal portion of their tentacles.

Circulation


The blood of a cuttlefish is an unusual shade of green-blue because it uses the copper-containing protein hemocyanin
Hemocyanin
Hemocyanins are respiratory proteins in the form of metalloproteins containing two copper atoms that reversibly bind a single oxygen molecule . Oxygenation causes a color change between the colorless Cu deoxygenated form and the blue Cu oxygenated form...

 to carry oxygen instead of the red iron-containing protein hemoglobin
Hemoglobin
Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells of all vertebrates, with the exception of the fish family Channichthyidae, as well as the tissues of some invertebrates...

 that is found in vertebrates' blood. The blood is pumped by three separate hearts: two branchial heart
Branchial heart
Branchial hearts are myogenic accessory pumps found in coleoid cephalopods that supplement the action of the main, systemic heart. Each consists of a single chamber and they are always paired, being located at the base of the gills. They pump blood through the gills via the afferent branchial veins...

s pump blood to the cuttlefish's pair of gills (one heart for each), and the third pumps blood around the rest of the body. Cuttlefish blood must flow more rapidly than that of most other animals because hemocyanin carries substantially less oxygen than hemoglobin.

Ink


Cuttlefish have ink, like squid and octopuses, which they use to help evade predators.

Toxicity


Like octopuses and some squid, all cuttlefish have bacterially-produced neurotoxin
Neurotoxin
A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells , usually by interacting with membrane proteins such as ion channels. Some sources are more general, and define the effect of neurotoxins as occurring at nerve tissue...

s in their saliva.


The muscles of Pfeffer's Flamboyant Cuttlefish
Pfeffer's Flamboyant Cuttlefish
Metasepia pfefferi, also known as Pfeffer's Flamboyant Cuttlefish, is a species of cuttlefish occurring in tropical Indo-Pacific waters off northern Australia, southern New Guinea, as well as numerous islands of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia...

 contain a highly toxic compound that is yet to be identified. Mark Norman
Mark Norman (marine biologist)
Mark Douglas Norman is a marine biologist living in southern Australia where he works through the University of Melbourne and Museum Victoria. For over a decade, Norman has been working exclusively with cephalopods and he is one of the leading scientists in the field, having discovered over 150...

 with Museum Victoria
Museum Victoria
Museum Victoria is an organisation which operates three major state-owned museums in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; these are: the Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum and Scienceworks. It also manages the Royal Exhibition Building and a storage facility in Melbourne's City of Moreland.Museum...

 in Victoria, Australia, has shown the toxin to be as lethal as that of a fellow cephalopod, the blue-ringed octopus
Blue-ringed octopus
The blue-ringed octopuses are three octopus species that live in tide pools in the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Australia . They are currently recognized as one of the world's most venomous marine animals...

.

Diet


While the preferred diet of cuttlefish is crabs and fish, they feed on small shrimp shortly after hatching.

They use their camouflage to hunt and sneak up on their prey. When they get close enough, they open their eight arms and shoot out two long feeding tentacles. On the end of each is a pad covered in suckers that grabs and pulls prey toward its beak.

Range and habitat


Family Sepiidae, which contains all cuttlefish, inhabit tropical/temperate ocean waters. They are mostly shallow-water animals although they are known to go to depths of about 600 metres (1,968.5 ft). They have an unusual biogeographic pattern: totally absent from the Americas, but present along the coasts of east and south Asia, western Europe, the Mediterranean, as well as all coasts of Africa and Australia. By the time the family evolved, ostensibly in the Old World, the north Atlantic possibly had become too cold and deep for these warm water species to cross.

Taxonomy




Over 120 species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of cuttlefish are currently recognised, grouped into 5 genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

. Sepiadariidae
Sepiadariidae
Sepiadariidae is a family of cephalopods in the order Sepiida.-Classification:* Genus Sepiadarium** Sepiadarium auritum** Sepiadarium austrinum, Southern Bottletail Squid** Sepiadarium gracilis...

 contains seven species and 2 genera; all the rest are in Sepiidae
Sepiidae
Sepiidae is a family of cephalopods in the order Sepiida.-Classification:*Order Sepiida: cuttlefish**Family Sepiadariidae**Family Sepiidae***Genus Metasepia****Metasepia pfefferi, Pfeffer's Flamboyant Cuttlefish...

.
  • CLASS CEPHALOPODA
    Cephalopod
    A cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda . These exclusively marine animals are characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a set of arms or tentacles modified from the primitive molluscan foot...

    • Subclass Nautiloid
      Nautiloid
      Nautiloids are a large and diverse group of marine cephalopods belonging to the subclass Nautiloidea that began in the Late Cambrian and are represented today by the living Nautilus. Nautiloids flourished during the early Paleozoic era, where they constituted the main predatory animals, and...

      ea: nautilus
    • Subclass Coleoidea
      Coleoidea
      Subclass Coleoidea, or Dibranchiata, is the grouping of cephalopods containing all the primarily soft-bodied creatures. Unlike its sister group Nautiloidea, whose members have a rigid outer shell for protection, the coleoids have at most an internal bone or shell that is used for buoyancy or support...

      : squid
      Squid
      Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

      , octopus
      Octopus
      The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms...

      , cuttlefish
      • Superorder Octopodiformes
        Octopodiformes
        Octopodiformes is a superorder of the subclass Coleoidea. It comprises the octopuses and the vampire squid. All members of Octopodiformes have 8 arms.-Classification:*Class Cephalopoda**Subclass Nautiloidea: nautilus**Subclass †Ammonoidea: ammonites...

      • Superorder Decapodiformes
        Decapodiformes
        Decapodiformes is a superorder of Cephalopoda, which includes all species with ten limbs; the name derives from the Greek word meaning ten feet. The ten limbs are divided into 8 short arms and 2 long tentacles. It is presumed that an ancestral coleoid had five identical pairs of limbs, and that one...

        • ?Order †Boletzkyida
          Boletzkyida
          The Boletzkyda are perhaps the very earliest of the teuthid coleoid cephalopods, which seem to form a link between nautiloid orthocerids and more advanced coleoids. The Beletzkyda was named and described by Bandel, Reitner, and Sturmer in 1983 from specimens found the Lower Devonian black slate...

        • Order Spirulida
          Ram's Horn Squid
          Spirula spirula is a species of deepwater squid-like cephalopod mollusk. It is the only extant member of the genus Spirula, the family Spirulidae, and the order Spirulida...

          : Ram's Horn Squid
        • Order Sepiida: cuttlefish
          • Suborder †Vasseuriina
            • Family †Vasseuriidae
            • Family †Belosepiellidae
          • Suborder Sepiina
            • Family †Belosaepiidae
              Belosaepiidae
              Belosaepiidae is a family of cephalopods known from the Eocene, and bearing close similarity to the sepiid cuttlefish, whilst retaining the remnants of a belemnite-like guard....

            • Family Sepiadariidae
              Sepiadariidae
              Sepiadariidae is a family of cephalopods in the order Sepiida.-Classification:* Genus Sepiadarium** Sepiadarium auritum** Sepiadarium austrinum, Southern Bottletail Squid** Sepiadarium gracilis...

            • Family Sepiidae
              Sepiidae
              Sepiidae is a family of cephalopods in the order Sepiida.-Classification:*Order Sepiida: cuttlefish**Family Sepiadariidae**Family Sepiidae***Genus Metasepia****Metasepia pfefferi, Pfeffer's Flamboyant Cuttlefish...

        • Order Sepiolida
          Bobtail squid
          Bobtail squid are a group of cephalopods closely related to cuttlefish. Bobtail squid tend to have a rounder mantle than cuttlefish and have no cuttlebone. They have eight suckered arms and two tentacles and are generally quite small...

          : bobtail squid
        • Order Teuthida
          Squid
          Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

          : squid

Gastronomy


Cuttlefish are caught for food in the Mediterranean, East Asia, the English Channel and elsewhere. Although squid is more popular as a restaurant dish all over the world, in East Asia dried, shredded cuttlefish
Dried shredded squid
Dried shredded squid is a dried, seasoned, seafood product commonly found in coastal Asian countries and Hawai'i, made from squid or cuttlefish. The snack is also referred to as shredded squid, dried seasoned squid, prepared rolled squid or sun dried squid, and dried shredded cuttlefish...

 is a popular snack food.

Cuttlefish are especially popular in Italy, where they are used in Risotto
Risotto
Risotto is a class of Italian dishes of rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. The broth may be meat-, fish-, or vegetable-based; many kinds include Parmesan cheese, butter, and onion...

 al Nero di Seppia
(literally black cuttlefish rice). The Croatian Crni Rižot is virtually the same recipe, which probably originated in Venice and then spread across both coasts of the Adriatic. "Nero" and "Crni" mean black, the color rice turns because of the cuttlefish ink.

In Spain, breaded and deep-fried cuttlefish is a popular dish in Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, where it is known as choco. Spanish cuisine
Spanish cuisine
Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of dishes, which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep maritime roots...

, especially that of the coastal regions, uses cuttlefish and squid ink for the marine flavor and smoothness it provides; it is included in dishes such as rice, pasta and fish stews.

In Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, it is the regional dish of the city of Setúbal
Setúbal
Setúbal is the main city in Setúbal Municipality in Portugal with a total area of 172.0 km² and a total population of 118,696 inhabitants in the municipality. The city proper has 89,303 inhabitants....

 and surrounding areas, where it is served as deep-fried strips or in a variant of feijoada
Feijoada
Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork, which is a typical from Brazilian Cuisine, is also typical in Angola, Mozambique, Goa, India and other former Portuguese colonies. In Brazil, feijoada is considered by many as the national dish...

, with red kidney beans.

Cultural significance


Eugenio Montale
Eugenio Montale
Eugenio Montale was an Italian poet, prose writer, editor and translator, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1975.- Early years :...

's ground-breaking debut collection of poetry Cuttlefish Bones (Ossi di seppia) was published in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 in 1925. Montale, who grew up in Liguria
Liguria
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food.-Geography:...

 along the Mediterranean Sea, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1975, for his long and prolific career.

Sepia


Cuttlefish ink was formerly an important dye, called sepia
Sepia (color)
Sepia is a dark brown-grey color, named after the rich brown pigment derived from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish Sepia.The word sepia is the Latinized form of the Greek σηπία, sēpía, cuttlefish.-Sepia in human culture:...

. Today artificial dyes have mostly replaced natural sepia.

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