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Cute New Cuttlefish

18 Feb 2013 14:38:48

Cute New Cuttlefish

We have an exciting new occupant in our Rocky Shores area - a Giant Cuttlefish - and besides being big in the cute stakes; this species is amazing in many ways.

 

Found in eastern and southern Australian waters, the Giant Cuttlefish grows to be the largest species of Cuttlefish in the world. However, even though it's the biggest, like other cuttlefish, it doesn't live very long with a lifespan of only about 18-24 months.

 

To ensure propagation of the species, they take quite an interesting approach to breeding. They come together in large aggregations to mate, males typically display a hypnotic zebra stripe pattern on their body while females camouflage with brown/green mottled bodies.

 

Males compete fiercely for females, sometimes coming to physical altercations. The bigger the male is, the more likely he is to win an altercation. However that doesn't mean the smaller males get nothing. Small males have been known to use an alternate mating strategy called female mimicry. They use their colour change ability to mimic the colours of a female. They then sneak past larger males and can sneakily mate with females without the larger male noticing.

 

Recent populations on the southern coast of Australia have dramatically declined, without a concrete answer as to why. Our new Giant Cuttlefish has a great personality and we're hoping that everyone who comes to see it will gain an appreciation for how incredible these animals are and the importance of protecting their environment to avoid further declines in population.

 

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