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Cuttlefish or cuttles are marine molluscs of the order Sepiida. They have not one, not two, but three hearts! Two hearts are used to pump blood to the cuttlefish’s large gills, and the third heart is used to circulate oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. Cuttlefish belongs to the class Cephalopoda, which also includes squid, octopi, and nautiluses.
See the fact file below for more information on the cuttlefish or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Cuttlefish worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The cuttlefish is a species of invertebrates that can reach body lengths of up to 50 cm. The head of the cuttlefish is at the base of their mantle and has two large eyes situated on it.
- The cuttlefish has eight arms radiating out from the head, and a sharp beak-like jaw that lies in the center of their arms.
- In addition to their eight arms, cuttlefish also have two long tentacles that can be extended to capture prey. Once the prey is captured, the tentacles completely retract into their body. The mantle of the cuttlefish has a pair of flat fins that span the length of the mantle.
- Cuttlefish are one of the organisms with exceptional camouflaging ability.
- Although it cannot see color, the organism can change the color of its body according to its surroundings. In fact, it is so good at doing so that it can even become invisible while lying at the bottom of the ocean floor.
- This ability helps the cuttlefish in hiding from predators as well as for catching its prey off-guard. This ability of the organism is so well-developed that it can perform perfect camouflage even in darkness.
- Cuttlefish are carnivores. They feed on small organisms found in the ocean. Baby cuttlefish mostly feed on small shrimp.
- On the other hand, the preferred diet of grown up cuttlefish generally consists of crabs and small fish.
- Cuttlefish use their ability to camouflage in order to catch prey. In addition, its set of two tentacles helps in grabbing the prey while the other six suckers help the organism in ingesting the food.
- Using Camouflage. Changing color helps cuttlefish blend into their environments to hide from predators. Camouflaging also helps the cuttlefish hunt. If the cuttlefish’s prey is particularly large and aggressive, it puts on a display of lights that literally stun its prey. The cuttlefish’s highly specialized skin also helps it mate.
- Intelligence. Cuttlefish are extremely intelligent. They are considered smart, if not smarter, than most fish and octopi. They are even smarter than some mammals. This is surprising because most organisms without a backbone are not that intelligent.
- Pretending to be a Different Gender. During mating, larger males usually get the first opportunity to mate with smaller females. To get past larger males without a confrontation, smaller males change their color and texture to resemble females. The males do not view them as a threat, so they have the opportunity to mate without fighting.
- Flashing Bright Colors and Flaring Tentacle(Flamboyant Cuttlefish). Flashing bright colors and flaring its tentacles is the way this particular cuttlefish chooses to discourage predators from eating it. This serves as a warning to predators that it is poisonous.
RANGE AND HABITAT
- The family Sepiidae, which contains all cuttlefish, inhabits tropical and temperate ocean waters.
- They have an unusual bio geographic pattern where they are present along the coasts of East and South Asia, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean, at all coasts of Africa and Australia, but are totally absent from the Americas.
- 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.
MATING AND REPRODUCTION
- The male cuttlefish changes the color of its skin in order to attract its female counterparts for the purpose of mating.
- Male dominance plays an important part in the organism’s mating behavior. Competition exists among the males and usually the larger rival wins as the smaller back away after being threatened.
- The female lays two hundred eggs at a time. The lifespan of the female comes to an end soon after it lays eggs.
- Cuttlefish generally live in shallow reefs, but they can also live in channels and deeper waters up to 650 ft (about 200 m). They are distributed around the globe, and over 120 unique cuttlefish species have been discovered.
- New species continue to be identified and while no cuttlefish species is currently endangered, increased fishing by humans could become a threat.
- Although human impact on the ocean is growing, so is the knowledge that we depend on healthy seas. Working together, people can discover solutions to pollution, over fishing, and other threats to the ocean.
- Studies indicate that fishing is occurring around the maximum sustainable yield, so no special conservation status is applied to them.
- The species of cuttlefish are believed to be abundant and faces no threat of extinction.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about cuttlefish across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Cuttlefish worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the cuttlefish or cuttles which are marine molluscs of the order Sepiida. They have not one, not two, but three hearts! Two hearts are used to pump blood to the cuttlefish’s large gills, and the third heart is used to circulate oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. Cuttlefish belongs to the class Cephalopoda, which also includes squid, octopi, and nautiluses.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Cuttlefish Facts
- Info Cards
- Jumbled Diet
- Mating Season
- Cuttle Scrumble
- What Is A Cuttlefish
- Cuttle Basic
- Cuttle or False
- Cuttle Photo Collection
- What’s It Called?
- Looking Back
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Link will appear as Cuttlefish Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 8, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.