Friday Cephalopod: Romantic dinner for two

Sepioteuthis lessoniana

Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.


  1. Darrell E says

    Last night (Thursday) I watched a show on the discovery channel about marine biologists from Woods Hole OI studying gelatinous creatures in the mid level ocean. In one scene a very curious creature, identified only as “some kind of squid,” was shown floating vertically in the water column. It had a long “tail” pointing downward that was approximately twice as long as the body + tentacles. This “tail” was shaped like a sword blade and had “knobs” spaced regularly along it. These “knobs” seemed to have a relatively high concentration of chromatophores, and the squid was changing the color / intensity of them.

    Does anyone know what kind of squid this is, and how and what it uses that magnificent tail for?

  2. SEF says

    With two more of them they’d be doing a passable dragonfly impression (and fatter ones could try for an eyed butterfly effect). :-D

  3. SN says

    Last night’s NOVA was on cuttlefish…it was called “Kings of Camouflage.” Very amazing creatures, I had no idea! They showed some intelligence experiments they were running, very cool stuff. And they showed a “flamboyant cuttlefish” that walked on the sea floor because it could barely swim! Wow…amazing…

  4. J Daley says

    My wife and I watched and really liked the NOVA show, and got to wondering: are there any cephalopods one could feasibly keep as a pet, in an aquarium?

    From what I understand viable cuddle cuttlefish are difficult to get in the US, but what about any others?

  5. C. Lathe says

    Most cephalopods that are manageable by the hobbyist aquarium keeper only have a lifespan of about a year or two, which turns many people off. There are a few species of octopus that are kept and sold as relatively inexpensive (~20-30 dollars) lab creatures, and are fairly hardy. I would expect those that would keep cephalopods in aquariums to already have had a fair amount of experience keeping marine tanks, but other than that, there are many ways of keeping them in a responsible tank without breaking the bank.