On our recent trip to the Exploris aquarium in Northern Ireland, one of the most beguiling exhibits we saw was a cylindrical tank of little cuttlefish, who all seemed highly inquisitive as they looked out at us walking by.
Cuttlefish are molluscs (along with snails and oysters), and belong to the cephalopod group, which includes squids and octopuses. Cuttlefish are highly intelligent, with well developed eyes and green/blue blood (due to using copper based haemocyanin, instead of iron based haemoglobin to transport their oxygen). They are able to produce a cloud of ink (‘sepia’) when frightened to confuse any predators, and their internal skeleton consists of a calcium carbonate ‘cuttlebone’ which is often used by budgie and parrot owners as a source of calcium. These little animals are masters of disguise too, and can alter their skin colour at will.


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