ingredient information
Fish Cuttle Fish
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Cuttlefish are animals of the order Sepiida, and are marine cephalopods, small relatives of squids and nautilus. Cuttlefish have an internal shell, large eyes, and eight arms and two tentacles furnished with denticulated suckers, by means of which it secures its prey. The name is sometimes applied to dibranchiate cephalopods generally. Cuttlefish possess an internal structure called the cuttlebone, which is composed of calcium carbonate and is porous to provide the cuttlefish with buoyancy. Buoyancy can be regulated- the cuttlefish can even decide to sink- by changing the gas-to-liquid ratio in the chambered cuttlebone. Each species has a distinct shape, size, and pattern of ridges or texture on the "bone". Cuttlebones are traditionally used by jewellers and silversmiths as moulds for casting small objects. They are probably better known today as the tough material given to parakeets and other cage birds as a bill-sharpener and source of dietary calcium. Cuttlefish are sometimes called the chameleon of the sea because of their remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin color. Their skin flashes a fast-changing pattern as communication to other individual of the same species, as well as serving as camouflage from predators. This color-changing function is produced by groups of red, yellow, white, and black chromatophores together with a guanophore, with up to 200 of these specialized pigment cells per square millimeter. The chromatophores are a cell with a bag of ink and a large membrane that is folded when retracted. There are 6-20 small muscle cells at the bottom which can contract to squish the elastic ink sac into a disc against the skin. The guanophores reflect blue and green light. All of these cells can be used in combinations. For example: orange would be produced by red and yellow chromatophores, while purple could be created by a red chromatophore and a guanophore. The cuttlefish could also use a guanophore and a yellow chromatophore to produce a brighter green, or green when there isn't much around. Cuttlefish eyes are among the most developed in the animal kingdom (if not the most developed). Cuttlefish have ink, like squids. This ink was formerly an important dye, called sepia. Today artificial dyes have replaced natural sepia. Cuttlefish are caught for food, though squid is more popular. Cuttlefish eat small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish and other cuttlefish. Their predators are sharks, fish, and other cuttlefish. They live about 1 to 2 years. Like octopuses, cuttlefish have been successfully raised as pets in home aquariums, though even their bare necessities are significant. In particular, cuttlefish need a minimum amount of sea water in proportion to their body size, their tank needs to be cleaned every time they ink, they cannot tolerate abrupt changes in light levels, and they cannot coexist with other animals, and rarely ever with other cuttlefish. All other animals of comparable or smaller size, including other cuttlefish, are instinctively seen as food. Domestic cuttlefish are very reminiscent of domestic cats, even exhibiting cat-like habits such as resting, pouncing on moving prey, begging owners for food, and even begging for more food than they need or is healthy for them. Like cats, cuttlefish are not truly tame, but rather tolerate and cooperate with their owners to live a comfortable life. But unlike cats, cuttlefish will try to eat other cuttlefish. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuttlefish