Aug. 13, 2022


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This podcast episode we talk about the Cuttlefish! Relax, unwind, and join me in the coastal waters, where we learn all about the hypnotizing "'chameleon of the sea".


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hello everyone welcome back to relax with animal facts I am staff Wolff and today I am going to be learning with you about our furry scaly or possibly even slimy friends and in today's case it is definitely going to be a slimy friend of ours because we are covering the %HESITATION so wonderful cuttle fish this is of course a very special listener episode dedicated to Kaylee and her dad Kenna and mer bar to thank you all for taking the time to write in with this wonderful suggestion this is one of the most unique creatures I think that we have covered so far so suffice to say that I am pretty excited if there is a super cool animal that you want to learn about on the show and have your very own episode you can send in your animal requests in three different ways the first is through Instagram through the handle relax with animal facts you can also go to the website to relax with animal facts dot com and go to the animal request tab and lastly you can always email relax with animal facts at G. mail dot com both the website and shooting me an email all go to the same place it's just a matter of your convenience for those of you that find extinct animals really cool we started an extinct animal mini series on patron on we've done the Tanzanian tiger and the woolly mammoth so far all of that stuff is in the show notes or the description that's at the patron dot com slash relax as with animal facts I'm just going to say where I caught the facts from for this episode so that we can get right into it no %HESITATION dele dallying all of the facts that or within this episode come from Britannica dot com National Geographic dot com a C. P. dot EDU graph dot com mental floss dot com and at him online dot com as always all of those links will be in the show notes with a description of this video and I greatly encourage you all to explore those resources on your own they have such a breadth of knowledge awaiting your discovery and this episode would not be possible if it were not for their work and now I would like for all of you to just take a moment and realize where you're carrying some tension this is always entirely unique to you it might be in the arms with the legs with the head for me is always it is in my hands because I work with my hands a lot and all of that tension that we're currently holding is not exactly necessary especially not as were scuba diving in the oceans and so I encourage all of you right alongside me to try to relax those parts of your body whatever they are as we go into this immersive experience together strap on your scuba gear because right underneath us ladies and underwater world where the cuttlefish resides a cuttlefish despite its name is not actually a fish they are intelligent invertebrates that are related to the squid the octopus and the nautilus which are all fantastic episodes on their own and remember that invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone and these back a boneless creatures will have about one hundred and twenty different species and there are more than one hundred and twenty different species of just cuttlefish they're found in the oceans all around the world some living in shallow waters indeed most of them but some can also be found at the bottom of the deaths of more than three thousand feet down their common name is cuttlefish the one we have been using from the start but their scientific name is sepeda for those of you that might be more fashion oriented I know I'm not but the word of separatism might sound somewhat familiar to you that's because it is very closely related to the words set pia that very rich brown pigment that we see and those come from Latin and Greek words for cuttlefish the we're not entirely sure where this word came from before the Greek but these invertebrates are carnivorous and will live only between one to two years of age that is not a long time but if we remember the octopus episode they are not too far from the octopus they seem to have fairly short life spans the lifespan can change just a little bit between species just because of size and location and other factors we remember that there are more than one hundred and twenty of them the smallest of them being one point seven inches and the biggest twenty inches so the biggest cuttlefish is about ten times bigger than the smallest cuttlefish the cuttlefish is given the distinction of a cephalopod just like the octopus any animal that is considered to be a cephalopod it is because they are part of this class of mollusks known as cephalopod and it comes from a Greek word literally translated into head to feet this could be because it looks as though their head is directly attached onto their feet or their tentacles so we see that the cuttlefish and the octopus are very similar in certain ways but they are also tremendously different us we'll find out the cuttlefish in specific has a very flat body with these pair of little fins on the outside all of the more than one hundred and twenty species have eight arms along with two longer tentacles that are used for the purpose of capturing prey these two tentacles are always holstered except for when they spring out into action to catch something so they have these two pouches that hides them very well except for when they are needed on their tentacles they have those very signature suction disks or pads on their arms along with these slightly larger pads at the tips of the tentacles one of the facts that make the cuttlefish so cool is their ability to control their buoyancy when we're referring to buoyancy it just means the ability for you to float up or float down in water they have an internal shell that is aptly named the cuttle bones that they use to achieve these different levels of buoyancy like little ocean chemists they will be adding different amounts of gas or liquid into the tiny holes of this structure to allow them to either rise if need be work to descend lower into the sea they also have that very unique ability of using jet propulsion they will fill their body cavities up with a bunch of water and then all at once with a multi exertion they will forcefully send out that water and propel themselves backwards this will come in very handy when they need to evade any sort of predator now the cuttlefish is not at all safe from predation though it is itself a dangerous and formidable predator it has its own things to worry about they are preyed on by dolphins large fish sharks even the sea lions in addition to the very harsh betrayal of a fellow cuttlefish from time to time using that similar mechanism of propulsion they can very forcefully squirt out a cloud of ink in order to distract the predator and try to get away they even have the ability as the underwater chemists they are two makes mucus with the ink to try to create a sort of decoy this is known by an interesting term cold pseudo morph meaning that it is an artificial or fake form of the cuttlefish and how often do we cover animals with that ability but he is not their only form of defense they also have a defense that is somewhat more artistic in nature but instead of shooting out Inc in an attempt to run away they will put on these very dazzling visual displays to try to discourage whatever it is that is haunting them maybe if they see the pretty lights of the car %HESITATION fishes display they will forget that they're hungry they will also use this visual display in a way that is really mesmerizing but we'll learn about that in just a moment they might even adapt their response to specific predators sharks have a way of detecting things through electro reception that means that they can find out where something is by electrical currents emitted by the prey so the cuttlefish will try to minimize whatever electrical signals it puts out by covering their body with their arms freezing standing still and slowing their breathing this seems remarkably similar to what many people do in movies with dinosaurs if I just don't move maybe they won't see me they are also gifted with camouflage which will allow them to avoid the scary interactions with predators in the for first place they have color cells in their skin about ten million of them and they have control of each one they can quickly change their pattern their texture and their color so we're not just talking about the red to blue we are talking about pattern changes and a physical texture they will even add on top a performance with their tentacles to try to really sell this solution while they will use this to evade predators they will also use it as a kind of ambush tactic with pray that they are hunting as well as a form of communication with other cuttlefish they have even been seen to displayed two messages at one time at least one male cuttlefish has been seen doing two things at once that is wooing a female by flashing their courtship colors on one side of their body while simultaneously disguising itself as a female on the other side to trick a male rival that is something that is truly incredible but it's interesting that they can trick one another at all given how good their vision is the first thing of their vision that might seem a little odd is that they are totally color blind this seems something like nature's irony that the chameleon of the C. as it is cold he's color blind but their eyes are one of the most unique in the animal kingdom they have pupils that are not square they're not a circle they are W. shaped and these distinct pupils will help them to see almost everything they are even capable of switching in between forward facing and peripheral vision so similar how we have phones with rear facing cameras and forward facing cameras where we just tap a button the cuttlefish has already had that technology for a long time the cuttlefish also has the unique ability to detect differences in polarized light this gives a dimension to their vision that we don't have it allows them to see the angle at which light is reflected when it bounces off of something this little slimy friend of ours seems to be a kind of super hero in the sea what a unique set of characteristics that have similar to the octopus which they or indeed similar to the cuttlefish are very intelligent they have larger brains in fact they have a big brain to body size ratio among the biggest of all of the invertebrates which makes them very capable and intelligent they're able to count they are able to remember what and where the last eighty something and they have even been seen to exercise a sort of patience a twenty twenty one study that was testing cuttlefish found that some of them would eat less food earlier if they know that they will be rewarded with shrimp which is their favorite treat if they waited this might be equivalent to the marshmallow test which is a test in humans to see how patient some toddlers or will they eat the marshmallow now or will they wait and get five marshmallows and it seems as though a full grown cuttlefish has some advantage over a human toddler in the area of patients the area that is behind the eyes of the cuttlefish is known as the mantle and that is where all of their internal organs are including their three hearts as well as the blue blood that furnishes it that is not a fact entirely unique to cuttlefish if you have not heard the octopus episode already they also have three hearts and blue blood during the ceremony of courtship for the cuttlefish the mail will put on a dazzling light show similar to the light show it puts on to try to evade predation cuttlefish males are not very nice to each other when it comes to rivalries which is why they will often times try to trick and deceive one another the female will produce about one hundred to three hundred eggs which are cold sea grapes by the way but then they will be set in bunches and stained black by the ink of the mother cuttle fish will die after reproduction at about two years of age that dazzling light show that the cuttlefish puts on for its female counterpart as well as to protect itself from predators can be used on the offensive as well cuttle fish have the very unique ability of hypnotizing their prey if you have not seen this before it is truly amazing and warrants a search on YouTube they will very quickly manipulate those special color cells that they have to contract and dilate over and over again which creates a very dazzling spectacle for an unsuspecting little crab and the final fact of the episode is the name cuttlefish where does it come from or what does it mean the cuttlefish was really given its name some time in the fifteen nineties and was classified as a type of the cephalopod it goes back to an Old English word and even farther back to middle German and Old Norse the middle low German word meant container or pocket well the Old Norse word meant cushion it was also sometimes referred to as the scuttle fish in the seventeenth century so I'm not entirely sure if this container pocket or cushion referred to by the middle low German and Old Norse words refers to that little pocket that they have where they hide those tentacles that they very quickly shoot out and Pierce crabs with that is entirely speculation but it is very cool none the less now we are going to move on to the review portion of the episode this is where I read your reviews which you have all generously left and for this episode it comes from hander one hundred K. who wrote in via apple podcasts all the way from Germany so it just so happens that the word cuttle fish comes from a middle low German word and we have a listener writing in with the review from Germany so offender one hundred K. writes this podcast is amazing this podcast is amazing it helps me to sleep and they learn a lot about animals would love to hear one about bumble bees because I really like them smiley face thank you hander for that very very kind review I am so glad that it helps you sleep and to learn at the same time and I have to say that you are not the only one who wants to learn about the bumble bee that is going to be one exciting episode and the hander I will be sure to give you a big shout out on your future episode along with everyone else who has requested that magnificent little insect if you want to leave a review for the show it is one of the biggest things that you can do in support of it so if it has helped you I greatly encourage you to do so though it is entirely superfluous and out of your generosity because your company with me each week is simply gift enough if you want to request an animal you can do so by sending a message to relax with the animal facts on Instagram or by going to relax with animal facts dot com and going to the animal request tab or by sending an email to relax with the animal facts at G. mail dot com I look forward to all of your wonderful suggestions and for those of you that want to learn more about animals that no longer walk our planet but are just as amazing and unique you can go to the patron on Patreon dot com slash relax with animal facts all of the necessary links are in the description and they hope to see you there thank you all for joining me for this truly amazing episode I look forward to the next podcast episode and I hope you'll join me to learn about the next animal take care