Cuttlefish signaling and its use in hunting
Cuttlefish often prefer to be camouflaged while they hunt and sneak up on their prey. The use of chromatophores is essential to their success. Because these are neurally controlled organs they can change very rapidly. This gives the cuttlefish the ability to change its appearance as the landscape around it changes. It is thought that producing body patterns during hunting requires advanced cognitive ability, making the cuttlefish one of the most intelligent invertebrate species (Adamo et al., 2006).
Cuttlefish are generalist predators, and depending on the type of prey they are pursuing, their body patterns may vary. Meaning, the type and frequency of the displays will vary by prey to optimize the cuttlefish's chance of capture.
Cuttlefish hunting behaviors can be broken down into three phases
Cuttlefish are carnivorous and feed on living prey throughout their life. They are known as a euryphagous species, and feed primarily on a variety of crustaceans, mollusks and fish (Alves et al. 2006). Their general diets consists of:
This shift in diet is due to the increased energy requirements of the larger cuttlefish, as well as their increased hunting range. This is because larger cuttlefish are faster and possess longer arms that are able to take in larger prey (Alves et al. 2006).