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Namibia


Cuttlefish

marine life of Namibia

Introduction: Cuttlefish are marine animals of the order Sepiida. They belong to the class Cephalopoda, which also include octopus and squid. Despite the name, cuttlefish are molluscs and not fish. They have a life expectancy of 1-2 years. An intelligent invertebrate, they have one of the largest brain-to-body size ration of that family. Their predators include dolphins, sharks, fish, seals and other cuttlefish.

Cuttlefish have an internal shell called the cuttlebone, (which provides buoyancy), large w-shaped pupils, 8 arms and 2 tentacles. They secure their prey from their 'denticulated suckers' and themselves are a popular food snack. Cuttlebone is also the substance given to parrots, parakeets and budgerigars as a source of dietary calcium.

Distribution: Cuttlefish inhabit tropical/temperate ocean waters and are found mostly in the shallow-water off the Atlantic coast of Namibia.

Diet: Small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish, octopuses, worms, and other cuttlefish. They use their camouflage to hunt and sneak up on their prey.

Colouring: Mainly a brown pigment. Cuttlefish have been called the 'chameleon of the sea'. They have a sensational ability to rapidly alter their skin colour at will, changing colour and light polarity to communicate to other cuttlefish and to camouflage themselves from predators.

Size: 15cm to 25cm with the largest species, Sepia apama, reaching 50cm in mantle length. Weight over 10.5 kg according to size.

Marine Life | Namibia

  • Namibia Marine Life: Cuttlefish
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