Creature Feature - The Flamboyant Cuttlefish Spotted at TRACC

Photo by Basil Bohn
Sometime experiencing life in the ocean is like living in a series of Dr. Seuss books. Today with the sighting of the Flamboyant cuttlefish I feel like I’m in the Grinch – my heart grew three sizes today.

There she appeared, crawling and flashing her brilliant spectrum of colors – diver masks nearly pressed against the sand. The flamboyance of this charismatic creature apparent in the way she moves, the way she looks, the psychedelic flashings of her aposematic skin. She’s a teacup poodle of the cuttlefish family, and she hovers and twirls her tiny translucent ballerina skirt of a fin. She prowls and scours the sandy ocean floor, a small desert for her, and protrudes her many trunk like modified arms and tentacles searching for tiny crustaceans and fishes. When this charming predator spots her prey, her florescent hue turns to a sandy
Photo by Basil Bohn
camouflage and with lightning speed, a milky white tentacle shoots out to capture her unsuspecting meal. Equally awesome and strange in her mating rituals, this tiny tennis ball proportioned Cephalopoda, will dwarf her male be counterpart, before he injects her arm with his sperm packet. In turn, she will store the sperm to make eggs and spit them out of her squiggly mouth, hiding them one by one in protected recesses, before dying a selfless reproduction death.

Wonderful and strange is this ocean world, and some days, only the happy muffled squeals of a Sophie excited by sea life in a Dr. Seuss world can express the delight.

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Photo by Basil Bohn
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