Cuttlefish are extraordinary creatures!
I have only ever experienced Cuttlefish in the South Pacific on the Great Barrier Reef,
and in various shallow reefs along the shores of New Guinea.
And while these pictures show a great variety of cuttlefish -
and many of them are standing out beautifully against their environs -
it is actually quite difficult to spot them.
It is even more rare to spot them laying eggs in the wild!
And no matter how many times you read it or see it in a documentary,
seeing a cuttlefish change colors, thrum and vibrate and even change textures is mind-blowing.
They literally use their cuttlebone to turn from smooth to bumpy (big bumps!) -
bumps that you can feel!
Even better, watching them disappear right in front of your eyes.
A distinct memory is swimming gently behind a cuttlefish in a shallow reef system in New Guinea.
I was scuba diving with an 80+ year old Australian heart surgeon
(I could write a book on all my dive experiences with Australians - lovely, crazy, amazing people).
I was breathing from a tank, so the bubbles made us rather conspicuous.
The cuttlefish was not in a hurry to get away from us, but was taking precautions none-the-less.
He/She (it's difficult to determine the sex of a cuttlefish without actually seeing them mate/lay eggs)
darted from coral head to coral head, each time instantly changing color and texture to resemble the coral.
Then it moved on to sea fans, anemones and even sandy tidal bottoms -
each time instantly transforming and "disappearing".
I have witness many animals under the ocean use their camouflage, including the infamous mimic octopus -
but nothing can impress you like a cuttlefish!
And bonus, they don't have an octopus's reluctant/grumpy demeanor.
Another distinct memory was being able to witness a cuttlefish lay her eggs.
It's extremely rare to witness any cephalopod legs,
and when you do get the chance, it requires a delicate approach, patience and a certain amount of awe.
And if at all possible, do not be witnessing such a miracle with an Australian diver. ;)
It took everything in me to hold George (surgeon dive buddy) back from manhandling said miracle.
But I succeeded and it was wondrous and weirdly meditative.
George spent most of the time being peeved at me.
I love a good video to share.
(warning; cuttlefish reproduction and cuttlefish get eaten by the sea's other cutest animal - a dolphin)
I created a little worksheet for your young marine biologistsm
if you want a bit more "schooling" to do on the Cuttlefish.
(click on picture to enlarge and save to your desktop)
Here is a great infographic I found and wanted to share -
just for fun!