Metasepia pfefferi, also known as the flamboyant cuttlefish, is a species of cuttlefish that lives in coastal Indo-Pacific waters off the coasts of northern Australia, southern New Guinea and some areas in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. The body of this lively cephalopod contains unusual acids, rendering it unfit for human consumption.
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3 reason why scuba divers should avoid a Flamboyant Cuttlefish
1. Scuba Divers should avoid the Flamboyant Cuttlefish because, as shown in a toxicology study of their muscle tissue, these have been highly poisonous. Mark Norman of the Museum Victoria in Queensland, Australia, discovered that such toxin is as harmful as that of blue-ringed octopus.
2. The flamboyant cuttlefish, like many other cuttlefish, utilizes ink to fool predators. While swimming to safety, it will eject ink from its funnel into the water, forming an ink cloud. It is, however, a very slight splash. The cuttlefish ink had been the original sepia used by painters, now often replaced by synthetic sepia.3. Divers shouldn’t even think about cuddling with this cuttlefish. Though captivating and lively, the displays of this appropriately named fish act as a signal. Cuttlefish, like octopus and some squid, are venomous. A highly poisonous compound is found in its muscles.
3. Divers shouldn’t even think about cuddling with this cuttlefish. Though captivating and lively, the displays of this appropriately named fish act as a signal. Cuttlefish, like octopuses and some squid, are venomous. A highly poisonous compound is found in its muscles.
Flamboyant Cuttlefish Facts
Where can we usually find the Flamboyant Cuttlefish?
Flamboyant Cuttlefish have been found in shallow bodies of water at depths ranging from 3 to 86 meters in sand and mud. Throughout the day, the species is productive and has been noticed searching for fish and crustaceans. It stalks its prey using diverse and complex camouflage. This species’ actual base color is dark brown.
Individuals who have been disturbed or attacked rapidly change color to a pattern of black, dark brown and white with yellow patches around the mantle, arms, and eyes. To ward off potential predators, the arm tips are frequently painted bright red. Animals with this color pattern have already been observed walking or “ambling” along the sea floor while rhythmically waving their wide protective membranes on their arms. This action advertises a poisonous nature: the flesh of this cuttlefish contains a unique toxin.
Divers must avoid the Flamboyant Cuttlefish as they have two ways of ejecting its ink. One method is to create a smoke screen underneath which the animal can hide from perceived threat. In another, the released ink comes in the form of “pseudomorphs,” or ink bubbles bounded by mucus that are about the size of a cuttlefish and can act as decoys. And to add, cuttlefish are poisonous.
Although they look adorable, tiny, cute sea creatures, the fact that they release poison, we must avoid them. Divers must avoid going near a flamboyant cuttlefish as it would be risky for us humans to interact with these tiny, cute species. Just take a picture and it’ll do. Divers or not, we shouldn’t touch the cuttlefish and we should also protect them by protecting the ocean.