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New residents at the Aquarium are a cuttle above

24 January 2013 by Angela

Cuttle fish in tank

Can you tell where he is yet?

Here’s Alyster Chapman, Education Demonstrator at the Aquarium, to tell you about some new inhabitants at World Museum…


There are some new animals to come and see at the Aquarium, the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). Though the name tries to suggest it, these animals are not fish at all, but molluscs, they’re related to octopus, squids and nautiluses, and more related to a garden snail than a fish. When we first got these cuttles in they were only a few cm in length, we fattened them up in the back and waited till they were feeding fine and grown on to put them out. They’re currently around 6cm in length. 

The common cuttlefish can grow up to 50cm though the majority grow to 20-30cm in length and eat smaller molluscs like snails and clams, as well as crabs, shrimps and small fish. They are eaten by sharks and larger fish.

Cuttlefish are amazing animals; they can change the colour and texture of their skin to help camouflage into their surroundings. If you go and take a look you will notice the different body patterns each cuttle has depending on where they are in the tank. If they’re by a darkened patch with stones and other bits going on, they will create a disrupted body pattern – displaying a variety of coloured tones to blend in, and if they’re in clear sand the cuttle will be all one colour and bumpy. 

Why not call in to the Aquarium and see if you can spot all 6?

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