Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
Most widely used name for this species
The name of the animal in science
The place where something is found
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|15cm - 50cm (5.9in - 20in)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|3kg - 10.5kg (6.6lbs - 23lbs)|
|Number Of Species:|
The total number of recorded species
The average time the animal lives for
|1 - 3 years|
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Green, Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, White|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Coastal and deeper waters|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Crab, Shrimp, Fish|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Fish, Sharks, Cuttlefish|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long body shape and large eyes|
The cuttlefish is a small-medium sized mollusc that is found throughout the ocean waters of the world. In the same way as their squid and octopus relatives, cuttlefish have a large, elongated body with tentacles surrounding their mouths.
Cuttlefish are found in large numbers throughout the world's ocean waters from the warm, tropical shallows to the cold depths of the deep ocean. Cuttlefish are well known for the "flashing" colours that are displayed on their bodies during fighting and mating. In the same way as squid and octopuses, the cuttlefish also has an ink sack which ejects ink in order to fool oncoming predators.
There are 120 known species of cuttlefish found across the globe which vary in size from just 15 cm to the Australian giant cuttlefish which is often half a meter in length (not including its tentacles) and weighs more than 10kg.
The cuttlefish is a carnivorous animal that primarily preys on small crustaceans such as shrimp and crabs, but the cuttlefish also eats a lot of fish. The cuttlefish uses its ability to change body colour to hide itself, before catching its prey with the sucker-pads on the end of its long tentacles which bring the prey into the sharp beak of the cuttlefish.
Due to the generally relatively small size of the cuttlefish, there are numerous marine predators that hunt them. Large fish, sharks and even other cuttlefish (sometimes of the same species) are the most common predators of the cuttlefish along with humans who hunt the cuttlefish around the world.
During the mating season, male cuttlefish change their body colours in order to successfully attract a female. Some male cuttlefish have even been known to make themselves look like female cuttlefish in order to trick the dominant males and stealing their mates. The female cuttlefish lays around 200 small eggs and sadly dies soon afterwards.
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First Published: 11th January 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 11 Jan 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 11 Jan 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 11 Jan 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 11 Jan 2010]