Cuttlefish are predators, which means they hunt for their food.
They also, however, are hunted by other larger hungry sea creatures. So, how does the cuttlefish go about getting dinner while avoiding becoming dinner?
Cuttlefish have special cells in their skin called chromatophores, which are like little pockets of individual colors. They contract and relax the muscles on these tiny color pockets into different mixtures, like paint, and a specific color is made. This is how cuttlefish change color. Because cuttlefish can see tiny differences in shading, but not the color itself, they have the ability to match shades very well.
They also can change color very quickly, allowing them to hide in plain sight, if they are being chased. This ability is evident in the video, below.
To many predators, it looks like this cuttlefish vanished into thin air.
Even people have some difficulty keeping their eyes on escaping cuttlefish, especially in their natural environment.
Cuttlefish can also squirt ink to make a smokescreen in order to distract their predators and gain time to escape.
Cuttlefish themselves feed on small crabs, shrimp, snails, fish, worms, and even other cephalopods like octopuses. Some cuttlefish even eat other cuttlefish! But, how do these creatures hunt?
Again, the amazing powers of the cuttlefish’s color-changing chromatophores are at work here: Many cuttlefish attack with an ambush, hiding from their prey, and pretending to be something harmless like a rock.
When their prey ventures close enough, they burst from their cover and pounce. But this is much harder than it seems, and it’s often a job to get a meal.
Because their target may run away, a cuttlefish will try to slow it down by hypnotizing it into a calm state. It uses its color-changing abilities to create a mesmerizing light show that lures the prey into coming closer.
Once they are in the right position, the cuttlefish will snatch it and devour the hapless victim.
Watch the video:
Rare Footage of Feeding Cuttlefish Captured Off Australian Coast