Mar 28, 2012

Common Sepia (Sepia officinalis)

Did you know?

That if the Common Sepia embryos are exposed to certain prey are certain to catch the prey preference later in life? The shell of the common cuttlefish called cuttlebone and used as a supplier of calcium and as a stone to rub on caged birds and reptiles? That currently 786 existing species of cephalopods are known to science and some more waiting to be discovered? That the common cuttlefish ink is the basis for the brown color of the painter called sepia.

Sepia is common to 65 cm long and weighs 4 kg, the animals in warmer seas are generally smaller. They have eight arms with four rows of suckers each and two longer tentacles to capture prey, which, however, retracts into the bags under the eyes if not used. They have an internal shell, dorsal, flattened, called cuttlebone, for flotation and stabilization. The body is flattened dorso-ventrally with a peripheral end seam. The latter, together with the siphon are the principal organs of locomotion. The back is stamped with stripes, but since the skin is full of chromatophores can be readily and clearly change their color and design. The two eyes are highly developed lenses and have a W-shaped pupil. They even have more photoreceptor cells than mammals and can see all colors except red, which is absorbed first into the water. During the day it is common to hide in the sandy soil, but leave at night to feed on a variety of seafood such as crustaceans (crabs and shrimps), fish and others. The larger prey with a paralyzing venom is injected after the bite with its jaws and extra-intestinally digested (in front of the mouth) with enzymes to suck. 

The common cuttlefish takes procession. In the spring, the male tries to impress the female with a set of selected colors. Transferring the spermatophores (packets of sperm) to the membrane of the mouth of the female is done quickly through the left ventral arm called Hectocotylus. Spawning occurs in shallow water, in doing so, the eggs are attached in groups of plants. The eggs take approximately 50 days to develop a function of temperature. The young are small copies of adult and not living in the plankton as those of some other cephalopods. Life is quite short and not exceed two years.     

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