Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cuttlefish Learn Before They Hatch
Look closely at the picture on the right. This is a cuttlefish, a lesser known but equally marvelous relative of the squid and octopus. Nestled firmly within the confines of its egg, it waits to be born.

You know the most amazing thing about this creature?

It is already learning.

That's right, as soon as those strange little eyes with the w shaped pupils jack into that powerful little brain this guy starts observing his surroundings.

Scientists have known for some time that cuttlefish can perform feats of learning and recognition from a very young age. As an intelligent organism that rarely lives over two years, fast learning is definitely a necessity.
However, recent studies involving the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) show that these creatures can learn visually before they even leave the egg.

Basically, the scientists put some clear eggs of a common cuttlefish in a tank next to a tank with a crab in it. They also put some eggs in a tank where they could see no crabs. As soon as the eggs hatched, they placed the babies in tanks with both crab and shrimp.

The young cuttlefish that had been exposed to crab went straight after crab, whereas the rest of the little ones preferred to go after shrimp. The only explanation is that the cuttlefish exposed to the crab learned to recognize them as a potential prey item from within the egg.

That is just plain awesome. Think about it. If those sharp little minds can accomplish such an amazing feat before they are even completely developed physiologically, what wonders could they be capable of as fully formed adults?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Cuttlefish are one of the most wonderful, amazing, and underrated creatures on the entire planet.


  1. Nature is awesome, and this is only one small example of it. Thanks

  2. Hi. I would like to ask if there is anyone who can give or can help how to hatch cuttlefish in captivity..thank you