THE FIRST REASON FOR WATCHING THIS VIDEO OF A FLAMBOYANT CUTTLEFISH stalking a shrimp is that it’s a fascinating view of how cuttlefish hunt and capture their prey.
The second is that it’s a flamboyant cuttlefish – that’s its street name – an astoundingly dramatic, colorful creature described as the “flamenco dancer of the cuttlefish world” by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium (MBA), which produced the video.
A FRONT-PAGE FEATURE SIDEBAR
I get into the characteristics and lifestyles of cuttlefish and especially the flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pferreri) in “This Walking Cuttlefish Makes a Flamboyant Statement,” on the front page.
This includes the fact that they are the only cephalopods that “walk” on the seafloor, using their arms and fins to traverse muddy, sandy and rubble-strewn bottoms. Also, that they’re the only cuttlefish known to be poisonous.
HOW CUTTLEFISH HUNT
Here’s an awesome video published by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium depicting a flamboyant capturing shrimp in a display at the aquarium.
Like all cephalopods, cuttlefish have eight arms surrounding a mouth of hard, beak-like jaws they use to tear apart their preferred prey of small fish, crabs, shrimps and other crustaceans. In addition they have two long tentacles they whip out to snatch their targets, using them and their arms to pull them in. As the video demonstates, the process is very fast.
MBA is one of the few aquariums in the world to display Metasepia pfefferi. The little cuttlefish (about 3.25 in/8 cm in length) is fairly rare and rarely seen. It’s not clear how common they are in the wild. It’s found in areas of the western Pacific from the Philippines to Australia.
On the other hand, the MBA has succeeded in breeding the little guys in captivity. It’s raised multiple generations and had cultured and given away more than 1,000 cuttlefish to other institutions, according to one MBA official.
PRINCIPAL SOURCE: “Flamboyant Cuttlefish Hunting Shrimpy Prey!” Monterrey Bay Aquarium.