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LOLIGO SQUID

PHYLUM
Mollusca
ORDER
Decabrachia
CARD 11
Attracted by the light of the moon shining on the sea,
loligo squid gather by the thousands every March to mate
and spawn in the shallow waters off Southern California.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Length: Head and body, 8 in.
Tentacles: Eight arms, 2 in. Two
long tentacles extend to 8 in. for
catching prey.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: 3 years.
Mating season: March.
No. of eggs: Laid in sacs of
200-300. Each female lays about
20 sacs at a time.
Hatching: 3-4 weeks.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Usually solitary, although
huge schools gather during mating
season.
Range of the loligo squid.
DISTRIBUTION
Diet: Mainly fish.
Lifespan: 3 years.
RELATED SPECIES
The loligo squid is found throughout the warmer waters off
the west coast of North America, extending south from San
Francisco to Mexico.
Closely related to the common
squid, Loligo vulgaris. Giant squid
of up to 60 ft. (including tentacles)
are found in the northern Atlantic
Ocean.
CONSERVATION
I Although the loligo squid is fished extensively each year, the
I
fish.ing .is controlled, and this species is not yet in danger of
extinction.
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FEATURES OF THE LOLIGO SQUID
The arms and tentacles of all squid are covered with
suckers to provide a powerful grip that is used when
hunting. At the center of the tentacles is the SQUid's mouth
that has a horny beak with which it tears up prey before
swallovying it. It has two well-developed eyes. In some
species, notably those that live at great depths, eyes are
also li ght-producing organs.
Two long
tentacl es used
fOT catching
food.
Eight arms, some-
times call ed short
Suckers
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Eyes
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There are more than 300 species
of squid, ranging in size from less than half
an inch to over 60 feet in length. The loligo squid grows
to approximately eight inches and, like all its close
relatives, has eight short arms and two long tentacles
that it uses to catch prey.
~ FOOD &: HUNTING
Squid eat fish and crustaceans
primarily. The loligo catches a
fish by grasping it in its long
tentacles. It paralyzes its prey
with venom produced by its
salivary glands and bites off
the prey's head.
The squid's torpedo-shaped
body enables it to move rap-
idly over short distances. It
changes color to blend in
with its surroundings and so
becomes invisible to both its
prey and predators.
The squid's only defense is
to escape behind the dark
clouds of "ink" that it squirts
into the water.
DID YOU KNOW? I ~ BREEDING
• The giant squid, Architeu- I On moonlit nights in March,
this, is the world's largest loligo squid gather near the
living invertebrate. water's surface. The group
• The giant squid's only consists of males and females
predator is the male sperm that are ready to mate.
whale. A live squid measuring The males find mating
40 feet long has been found partners as quick as possible
inside a male sperm whale. since the presence of so many
Female sperm whales eat other males creates competi-
much smaller squid. tion for available females. As
• Squid possess the largest a male becomes excited, his
nerve fibers of any animal. head and tentacles become
• The most dangerous squid
are found off the coast of
Peru. They live in schools and
hunt in the same manner as
the piranha, tearing their
victims to shreds in seconds.
• In 1961 a gold medallion
was found inside a loligo
squid caught off San Sebas-
tian, Spain. It had been lost
by a swimmer in Barcelona
two years earlier and 900
miles away.
flushed. He then seizes a fe-
male and retrieves a sac of
sperm from his own body that
he inserts into her body with
one of his tentacles. The eggs
are thus fertilized in the fe-
male's body and she then lays
them in jelly-filled sacs, each
containing 200 to 300 eggs.
Each female produces ap-
proximately 20 sacs that are
joined together in flower-
shaped configurations and are
as large as 1 0 feet across. The
sacs are attached to each other
with a sticky secretion that
prevents them from being
washed away.
Tiny squid hatch from the
egg sacs three to four weeks
later. They are moved and
spread by coastal currents.
In three years they are fully
grown and ready to mate.
Above: Loligo
squid lay their
eggs in large
clumps.
Right: The
eggs hatch
several weeks
later and the
tiny squid
break free from
their jelly sacs.
left: Squid
mate in
groups.
~ SQUID&:MAN
The breeding habits of the
loligo squid make it particu-
larly easy to catch.
Fishermen in California catch
the majority of squid in March,
when the squid gather to
mate. The squid are attracted
to light, so the fishermen hang
lamps on their boats to en-
courage them to rise to the
surface. Several thousand tons
of squid are caught each year.
Still, because they produce
so many eggs, the loligo squid
are in no danger of becoming
overfished. But fishing is con-
trolled because, if the squid
were hunted on a larger scale,
it would endanger the other
marine life that preys on the
squid for food.
LEECH
PHYLUM
Annelida
CLASS
Clitella
GROUP 6: PRIMITIVE ANIMALS
ORDER
Hirudinea
Most leeches are parasites, feeding on the blood of other animals.
Some can ingest five times their body weight in blood at a single
to sustain them for up to a year.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Length: Up to 6 in.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: About 3 years.
Mating: Summer.
No. of eggs: 5-15 in cocoon.
Hatching time: 4-10 weeks.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Mainly aquatic, although
some are amphibious or terrestrial.
Diet: Generally parasitic on the
blood and body fluids of living
animals; some are predatory.
lifespan: Possibly up to 20 years.
RELATED SPECIES
There are some 650 species of
leech worldwide. Their closest
relatives are earthworms, marine
lugworms, and ragworms.
Range of the medicinal leech.
DISTRIBUTION
Leeches occur worldwide. Medicinal leech restricted t o
Europe and the Ural Mountains, and countries bordering the
eastern Mediterranean.
CONSERVATION
The medicinal leech is endangered, due to vast numbers
collected in the last century and, more recently, the disap-
pearance of suitable habitat. They are now protected.
FEATURES OF THE MEDICINAL lEECH
The bloodsucking medicinal leech lives in
fresh water where cattle and horses-its
main source of food-come to drink.
Body: Long and
slightly
flattened. Olive
green, with
reddish- brown
stripes.
©MCMXCIIMP BV/IMP INC WILDLI FE FACT FI LETM PRI NTED IN U.S.A.
Underside:
Green or
yellowish-
green.
Sucker: Used
to hold leech
in place while
it·feedS.
us P 6001 12010 PACKET 10
Leeches are generally disliked because
of their bloodsucking feeding habits.
Yet these relatives of the earthworm were
once highly valued by doctors, who believed
that using leeches to drain some of a patient's
blood cured all illness.
CHARACTERISTICS
A leech is a flattened, seg-
mented worm related to the
earthworm. Its body is
shaped like a compressed
cylinder, with an intestine,
nerve cord, and vein system
running the length of its
body. It has dense muscles
that allow it to move like a
leech has a highly developed
sucker. Bloodsucking leeches
attach themselves to their
prey with these suckers. When
they are not feeding, they
attach themselves firmly to
rocks or vegetation.
Most leeches live in water
because they need moist
snake or curl itself up in a ball conditions in which to survive,
as a defense against attack. since they become dehy-
At each end of its body, the drated if they are exposed to
FOOD &: FEEDING
Many species of leech are
active predators that attack
and eat other small inverte-
brate animals.
The fish leech has mouth-
parts similar in function to a
hypodermic syringe and uses
them to feed on large animals.
The fish leech is a good swim-
mer; it will attach itself to a
passing fish and puncture its
skin to feed off its body fluids.
The most well-known leeches
are those that suck the blood
of land animals and birds.
Some of these parasitic leeches
live on land, but most are
found in shallow or still water.
The medicinal leech feeds off
the blood of cows, horses, and
humans. It has three serrated,
semicircular jaws that can slice
a Y-shaped wound into the
skin of its prey. The jaws
secrete a fluid that enlarges
the animal's blood vessels and
prevents the blood from
clotting. The fluid also
contains an anesthetic, which
deadens any pain the animal
may otherwise feel, and thus
Above: Leeches live in the
stagnant waters of a pond or
river to keep from dehydrating.
dry air for too long. Some
species live in the ocean, but
most live in stagnant pools and
slow-flowing rivers.
Most of the species that live
out of water are found in the
moist, tropical rainforests,
where they live among low-
lying vegetation.
allows the leech to feed
unnoticed. The leech can drink
as much as five times its body
weight in blood and take
several months to digest it.
Below: The victim of the fish leech
usually survives the attack,
although it may be weakened.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Thousands of medicinal
leeches are bred for medical
research each year at the
world's first leech farm in
England.
• Following a leech bite,
blood continues to flow from
the wound for several hours.
The leech was once used to leeches had nearly wiped out
suck the blood of ailing people the population. But with the
in the mistaken belief that the advent of modern medicine,
practice would remove the the use of the leech declined
poisons along with the blood. and its numbers increased.
Doctors applied the medicinal Live leeches are still used in
leech to their patients. Due to modern microsurgery and are
this practice, the doctors them- applied to patients to pro-
selves were referred to as mote healthy blood flow in
leeches. grafted skin tissue. They also
By the nineteenth century, secrete a chemical that can
the demand for medicinal actually dissolve blood clots.

Every leech has both male
and female sex organs. When
they mate, one will act as the
male and fertilize the other
with its sperm. Some species
place the sperm directly into
the female's genital opening.
The fertilized eggs do not
develop inside the leech's
body but, rather, are ejected
into the water and bathed in
a nutrient fluid contained
within a sac of mucus. The
mucus eventually envelops
both the leech and the eggs,
forming a protective cocoon.
Some species attach their
cocoons to submerged ob-
jects or bury them in damp
soil, and the young emerge
four to ten weeks later.
Top right: This
medicinal leech
is sucking
blood from a
human hand.
Right: In some
species, the
eggs will
develop inside
a cocoon
attached to the
adult's body,
and when the
young hatch,
the parent
allows them to
cling to its
body.
• The giant Amazon leech
grows to a length of 18
inches.
• Leech collectors used to
catch them by wading bare-
foot in the water and then
picking them off their skin and
transferring them to a jar.
SPONGE
PHYLUM
Porifera
GROUP 6: PRIMITIVE ANIMALS
... CLASS
~ Oemospongiae
Sponges look like plants, grow like plants, and even reproduce
themselves like plants, but they are not plants. They are one of the
most unusual animals on earth.
SIZES
Length: Up to 6 ft.
BREEDING
Sexual reproduction: All sponges
generate both eggs and sperm.
Sperm is released into the water in
summer to fertilize eggs, which
become mobile larvae.
Asexual reproduction: Seedlike
particles called gemmu/es are re-
leased in fall, lie dormant through
winter, and develop into sponges
in spring. Fragments of adults may
also grow into new sponges.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Sedentary. Filter-feeders.
Diet: Suspended and dissolved
organic debris, bacteria.
RELATED SPECIES
There are some 5,000 species of
sponges worldwide that form the
subkingdom Parazoa.
Range of the sponge.
DISTRIBUTION
Found worldwide in all seas, from the lower shores to the
ocean depths. Some freshwater species are also found in
rivers, lakes, and ponds.
CONSERVATION
The bath sponges Spongia officina/is and Hippospongia
equina are overcollected in places, but most species are in
no danger of extinction.
HOW THE SPONGE FEEDS
WATER IN
The sponge draws water into central
cavities through small pores and
chambers. These cavities are lined
with cells that digest food particles
suspended in the water. Mobile cells
called amoebocytes move 'through
the sponge and carry nutrients to
other cells.
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Flagellae: Whipl ike tails
lining the cell walls.
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t
WATER OUT
Water is driven out of the cells by the
whiplike tail s of the flagellae.
Osculum: The passage through
which water is driven out.
0160200391 PACKET 39
Sponges are found all over the world in lakes,
rivers, and seas. They live in rock pools along
the shoreline as well as in deep ocean trenches.
Some sponges stand alone, forming shapes that
resemble fingers or flasks. Others may fuse together
into shapeless masses that cover submerged rocks.
CHARACTERISTICS
Sponges have many cells, but
these cells can survive inde-
pendently of one another, un-
like the cells of higher animals.
For this reason, sponges are
sometimes regarded as colo-
nies of single-celled animals
that cooperate to obtain food.
A sponge is basically a mass
of these cells arranged in a
series of tubular or spherical
groups, each with a central
opening. The entire cell struc-
Right: The skeletons of sponges
are 75 times more absorbent
than cloth.
ture is reinforced by an inter-
nal "skeleton" that is either
pinned together with tiny
barbs of silica or lime, or held
together by a mesh of resilient
protein fibers. The fibrous skel-
eton of the warm-water ma-
rine sponge is what is used as
a natural bath sponge.

Each sponge has both female
and male organs. In summer
a sponge releases clouds of
sperm. The sperm cells are
drawn in by nearby sponges
to fertilize their eggs. The tiny
larvae settle on the seabed
and grow into new sponges.
Sponges also reproduce
asexually. If a sponge is split
into two or more parts, it may
regrow into separate sponges.
Left: The tubular form of some
sponges provides an ideal hide-
out for small invertebrates.
Right: Under a microscope, it is
possible to see living cells group-
ing together to form new sponges.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Many sponges produce
toxins that can poison sharks.
Scientists are now studying
ways to use these toxins as
shark repellents.
• Like geraniums, sponges
can be cultivated by taking
cuttings. This method is used
It may also grow a lobe of tis-
sue that forms a new individual
(called budding). In fall many
sponges produce seedlike
particles called gemmules. The
parent sponge disintegrates,
but the gemmules sprout into
new sponges in spring.
Right: The silicon spikes of some
freshwater sponges can cause
allergic skin reactions.
to produce bath sponges.
• Sponges contain com-
pounds of medical interest,
including some that have
been used to treat arthritis.
• Some sponges secrete
acids that enable them to
bore into coral reefs.
Most sponges have developed
effective defense systems to
deal with predators. Some spe-
cies, such as the river sponge,
contain thousands of tiny silica
needles that make them hard
to eat. Many tropical marine
sponges contain chemicals

Sponges feed by drawing wa-
ter in and then filtering out
any suspended food particles.
The group of cells works to-
gether to draw the water
through minute pores in the
structure into chambers that
are lined with cells that can
"swallow" the food particles.
These cells have whiplike tails
called f/agel/ae, which drive
the water through the system
and out through a large cen-
Left: A sponge growing among
reef coral takes the shape of the
coral's folds.
that are toxic to fish as well as
other predators.
Because they are loose com-
munities of cells, most sponges
can survive being broken up
into smaller fragments. Each
piece simply reorganizes itself
and grows into a tiny sponge.
tral opening. Once taken in,
the food is passed to cells
called amoebocytes. These
cells move through the body
of the sponge, carrying nu-
trients to other cells and re-
leasing materials used to build
the skeleton.
Some sponges have algae
living in their bodies. These
single-celled plants manufac-
ture food by photosynthesis
-using sunlight to convert
chemicals into carbohydrates.
The algae may pass some of
these nutrients to the sponge.
GIANT OCTOPUS
ORDER
Mollusca
FAMILY
Cephalopoda Octopus dolfeini
For years the giant octopus was feared as a monster of the deep.
But in reality it is a highly intelligent, resourceful animal
that is quite harmless to humans.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Tentacle span: Up to 30 ft.
Weight: Up to 600 lb.
Studies indicate a trend toward
larger individuals in deeper water.
BREEDING
Sexual maturity: About 1 year.
Male matures at a smaller size
than female.
No. of eggs laid: Up to 100,000.
Hatching time: 6 months.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Solitary. Lives on the
seabed.
Diet: Crabs, mollusks, and
occasionally fish.
Lifespan: Averages 3 years.
RELATED SPECIES
The giant octopus is a distant rel-
ative of garden snails and slugs.
Closer relatives include other
octopuses, squids, and cuttlefish.
Range of the giant octopus.
DISTRIBUTION
Found along the coasts of the northern Pacific, from Cali-
fornia to Alaska and west to the Sea of Japan.
CONSERVATION
The giant octopus is vulnerable to pollution. But unlike its
edible relative, the common octopus, it is not in direct
danger from humans.
PECIAL ADAPTATIONS OF THE GIANT OCTOPUS
SUcklrs: Suckers are used to rip prey apart and to
anchor the octopus to a rock. Sensors surrounding
each sucker allow it to reject anything that tastes or
feels wrong.
Siphon: The
siphon, or funnel ,
takes in water.
The octopus can
use it to propel
itself through
water.
T .... el.: The octopus has eight
strong arms. They are capable of
pushing and pulling and can grip prey
very tightly.
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allk: The giant
octopus uses its
powerful beak to
crush crab
shells
0160200411 PACKET 41
The giant octopus is a highly developed mollusk
that has very acute senses, excellent mobility,
and remarkable mental agility. It is so well adapted
to its marine environment that many zoologists
consider it the pinnacle of evolution
among invertebrates.
~ HABITS
The giant octopus spends
most of its day lurking in a
rocky crevice. It emerges at
night to forage for prey. The
site of its hideout is frequent-
ly marked by the shells and
fragments of its victims--crabs,
clams, cockles, and sea snails.
If it does venture out, the oc-
topus usually crawls along the
sea floor, often with surprising
speed. Buoyed up by the wa-
ter, it may walk on "tiptoe,"
pushing itself along with the
tips of its powerful tentacles.
Or it may glide along, pro-
pelled by a jet of water thrust
out of its gill chamber. If it is
alarmed, it can escape at high
speed, jetting backward with
tentacles streaming. Its soft
body lets it squeeze through
small openings.
Right: Suckers on its strong
tentacles anchor the giant
octopus to a rock surface.
DID YOU KNOW?
• A giant octopus can live
out of water for some time
if it stays cool and damp.
It may leave the water to
search for food on land.
• The giant octopus has the
largest brain of all the inver-
tebrates. It has a very good
~ BREEDING
The male octopus is easy to
distinguish from the female-
one of his tentacles has no
suckers near the end. He mates
by inserting this tentacle into
the female's mantle cavity. A
sperm package is propelled
down a tentacle groove into
the female's oviduct, where
the sperm fertilize her eggs.
The male octopus dies soon
after mating.
The female may produce up
to 100,000 eggs, which she
strings up on the ceiling of her
lair. She watches over the eggs
for six months, never leaving
the nursery or eating.
Each egg hatches into a tiny
Left: Messages from the brain to
cells in the skin cause the octo-
pus's color to change.
memory and can learn quite
complex tasks.
• Although the octopus has
three hearts, they are not
very efficient. Because it has
poor stamina, the octopus
cannot sustain a struggle for
a long period of time.
------'
octopus only a quarter of an
inch long, which immediately
swims off to join the plankton.
It settles on the seabed and
begins to grow at an amazing
rate-from a weight of half an
ounce to two pounds or more
within seven months.
~ DEFENSES
Enemies of the giant octopus
include seals, sharks, and larger
giant octopuses. Its main de-
fense is its speed and its ability
to squeeze into tiny cracks and
crevices. It can also confuse an
attacker by squirting it with a
dense cloud of ink.
~ FOOD &: HUNTING
The giant octopus eats almost
anything it catches, but crabs
and bivalve mollusks are its
main prey. It hunts mainly by
sight and has eyes that have a
lot in common with ours.
The octopus surges forward
and envelops prey with its
tentacles. It checks the catch
with its suckers, which have
touch sensors and chemical
receptors, and it will reject
anything that feels or tastes
Above: The giant octopus lies
outside its lair waiting for prey to
enter its territory.
Meanwhile the mother has
died, exhausted by the effort
of breeding and starved by
the six-month vigil she kept
over her eggs.
Nerve-controlled color cells
in the skin let the octopus
change color for camouflage
or an intimidating display. As a
last resort it will bite. If these
defenses fail and the octopus
loses tentacles in an attack, it
simply grows new ones.
wrong. Sometimes the octo-
pus paralyzes its victim with a
shot of venom from its sali-
vary gland. But usually it rips
prey apart with its powerful
suckers. The octopus kills
crabs with a shell-crushing
bite from the parrotlike beak
that is concealed at the cen-
ter of its radiating tentacles.
Then it scoops out the crab
flesh and dumps the shells
outside of its lair.
NORTHERN RED ANEMONE
-----;-- - -- ----- -- ~ - ~ - -- -- --- - -- - - - - ~ - - ; - - - - ------.--- ..... <l' -----;--- ~ - - - -
... ORDER
'11IIIIIIII Actiniaria
• r ......
FAMILY
Actinidae
GENUS &: SPECIES
Teatia fetina
The northern red anemone is a beautiful marine animal that
spends most of its life below the tidemark around temperate
shores. It is one of the largest anemones in the North Atlantic.
CTS
SIZE
Body: Diameter, up to 5 in.
BREEDING
Asexual reproduction: Divides in
two, or small individuals bud off.
Sexual reproduction: Eggs and
sperm are released into the water
to produce tiny free-swimming
larvae.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Solitary, but may occur in
groups from the tidemark down to
about 325 ft. Prefers to attach itself
to a rocky, shady spot.
Diet: Small crustaceans and small
fish.
RELATED SPECIES
There are over 6,000 species of
anemone and coral. The genus
Teatia contains several species,
including several varieties of the
northern red anemone, T. fetina.
Range of the northern red anemone.
DISTRIBUTION
The northern red anemone is a temperate marine species
that occurs in the coastal waters of the North Atlantic and
Baltic Sea.
CONSERVATION
Although not specifically threatened, the northern red
anemone is affected by pollution and habitat destruction,
as are many inshore marine animals.
FEATURES OF THE NORTHERN RED ANEMONE
The northern red anemone exists in a
number of different varieties, which
may be red, gray-blue, or green.
Identification is also complicated by
the existence of similar, closely
related species.
Tentacles: Tapered and flexible. Over
100 arranged in rings around the
central opening. Translucent (light
can shine through them), and often
red. Armed with poison cells that
spring out in attack.
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Retracted form:
Rubbery, jellylike
appearance. The
anemone gen-
erally reverts to
this position at
low tide to avoid
drying out. It
also retracts as
a defense
mechanism.
Protrusions:
Sticky warts on
the surface of
the body attract
grains of sand
and gravel for
camouflage.
Base: A strong foot (hidden) attaches
the anemone to a rocky spot from the
mid-tidemark down to about 325 feet.
0160200451 PACKET 45
The northern red anemone appears fairly static,
sitting on the seabed with only its brightly colored
tentacles waving gently in the current. But when a
shrimp or small fish brushes past, its /ightning-
fast stinging cells paralyze the animal. The
anemone can then use its tentacles to
draw the victim slowly into its mouth.
~ H A B I T S
The northern red anemone oc-
curs on the seabed, from the
mid-tidemark down to about
325 feet. To avoid bright light,
it attaches itself to a rocky sur-
face in a crevice or seaweed.
The column of the northern
red anemone is covered with
sticky gray warts. Sand and
gravel stick to the warts and
camouflage the anemone.
When approached by a pred-
ator like a large fish, the anem-
one pulls in its tentacles so that
only the squat, rubbery column
shows. If attacked, it squirts out
Right: When exposed at low tide,
the anemone retracts its tentacles
to avoid drying out.
a jet of water and contracts its
tentacles even more.
To avoid drying out at low
ti.de when it may be exposed
to air for several hours, the
anemone retracts its tentacles
and shrinks to a jellylike blob.
It expands again when the tide
covers it.
~ FOOD &: FEEDING
The northern red anemone
feeds on small invertebrates
and fish. Attracted to the anem-
one by its colorful tentacles, the
prey sees it as potential food or
a place to take shelter.
As soon as the prey comes
into contact with the anemone,
groups of stinging cells resem-
bling tiny barbed harpoons are
fired from the tentacles into the
victim. These cells are called
Left: The northern red anemone
lives in fertile waters to depths of
about 325 feet.
DID YOU KNOW?
• The sting from a northern
red anemone's tentacles can
cause a rash on sensitive parts
of the human body.
• Some anemones use their
poisonous tentacles to stop
other anemones and corals
from settling close to them.
• A few anemone species give
nematocysts, and the tip of each
is filled with a poison that para-
lyzes the prey.
Chemicals released by the vic-
tim cause the anemone to con-
tract its tentacles and open its
mouth, drawing the prey into
the central body cavity. Nutri-
ents are absorbed, then waste
material is passed out through
the central opening, which
serves as both mouth and anus.
Right: The brightly colored ten-
tacles vary greatly in different
anemones.
birth to live young that form
within the parent's body.
• Specimens of the species
Tealia columbiana may grow
up to three feet across.
• The internal organs of the
northern red anemone are
arranged in a circle around a
central axis.
The northern red anemone can
reproduce sexually or asexually.
It can release both eggs and
sperm into the water where the
egg is fertilized by the sperm,
producing a larva (an imma-
Left: Underwater, its tentacles
make the anemone look like a
flower in bloom.
Left: The
anemone is a
simple animal
known as a
coelenterate.
It has a sac/ike
body with a
central open-
ing that is
used as both
a mouth and
an anus.
ture form between egg and
adult). The larva settles on a
rocky site, where it then de-
velops into a tiny anemone.
It can also produce tiny rep-
lica anemones by budding
(producing offspring "buds"),
or by dividing down the middle
to form two individuals.
Left: A strong
foot attaches
the northern
red anemone
to a rocky
surface. It
changes its
position with
a deliberate
creeping
motion.
ARMORED MILLIPEDE
- - - - - r ~ r- ~ ~ ,:trt ..,..
.... PHYLUM
'1IIIIIIII Arthropoda
CLASS
Dip/opoda
.... FAMILY
'1IIIIIIII Various
•• _ ~ ~ ; . . . . . ; i : l . ~ ' : . • _ ~ -...
Armored millipedes vary in size, with some species reaching almost
a foot in length. Despite their shell-like armor, many rely on
poison glands to deter enemies from attacking.
~ . - -
SIZES
Length: The largest millipedes can
reach 1 foot in length. Other
species frequently grow to 8 in.
BREEDING
Mating: Male and female may
embrace for several hours. Fertil-
ization takes place within the
female's body.
Eggs: Depending on species, may
lay up to 300 eggs.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Nocturnal.
Range of armored millipedes.
DISTRIBUTION
Diet: Leaves and other decaying
vegetable matter on forest floor.
Some species forage in trees.
RELATED SPECIES
Found in the United States and in tropical forests around
the world.
There are 8,000 species of
millipede worldwide.
CONSERVATION
Armored millipedes are not directly threatened. But, like
other inhabitants of tropical forests, they are at risk from
the continued destruction of their habitat.
SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS OF ARMORED MilLIPEDES
Defense: The millipede curls
into a spiral, exposing only its
hard armor plating to an enemy.
Color: Species may be bright-
ly colored or striped to deter
predators and indicate that the
millipede .is inedible.
move in a ripple
down the length
of the millipede.
© MCMXCI IMP BV/IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM PRINTED IN U.S.A. 0160200441 PACKET 44
Armored millipedes rest during the day.
At night they forage for rotting vegetation among
the dead leaves on the tropical forest floor.
The wavelike pulse of their short legs gives them
considerable power when burrowing.
HABITAT
Armored millipedes push their
way through soil and decaying
vegetation with ease. Under
piles of leaf mold or in damp
crevices, millipedes can be
found resting by day or feed-
ing at night. There are also
some species that climb trees
to feed on vegetable matter
caught in the branches.
Above: A cluster of eyes at the
base of each antenna can be seen
on this giant millipede.
FOOD &: FEEDING
Unlike centipedes, with which
they are often confused, ar-
mored millipedes do not hunt
living creatures. Instead, they
eat the leaves and other mat-
ter that fall from trees and de-
cay on the ground in their
tropical forest habitat.
Millipedes may also attack
crops planted by humans. But
they are unlikely to be a prin-
cipal source of damage. Their
jaws are simply not strong
enough to pierce anything
that is not already damaged
or decaying.
left: Decaying vegetation on the
forest floor provides food and
lodging for millipedes.
Right: The millipede's rippling
motion can be viewed under a
microscope. This way of mov-
ing developed many millions of
years ago.

Because armored millipedes
move slowly, they are vul-
nerable to attack. As a result,
they have developed several
means of defense.
One defense is the armor
itself. Many species, such a.s
the pill millipedes, curl up into
a ball when attacked. Some
species become as large as a
golf ball. Another defense is
poison glands. In most cases
the poison is constantly se-
creted to give the millipede
a toxic coating. Some larger
species can spray their poison
as far as three feet.
Other defenses include
bright markings to warn off
predators. A millipede that
lives in the sequoia forests of
California is even luminous.
BREEDING
Armored millipedes may mate
for several hours. The male
winds around the female and
holds her with his front legs.
Fertilization occurs within the
female's body. Depending on
the species, she may lay up to
300 eggs.
Unlike earthworms and most
insects, many female centi-
pedes and millipedes tend
their eggs. Some disguise the

excrement. Others build an
intricate nest and coil them-
DID YOU KNOW?
• Millipedes first appeared
about 400 million years ago.
• The name millipede means
1/1,000 legs. 1/ But millipedes
rarely have more than 200
or 300 legs.
selves around the eggs. Vari-
ous kinds of nests are built.
The usual materials are soil
and excrement, although
some millipedes spin a nest
of a silklike substance.
When it hatches, the ar-
mored millipede may have
only a fraction of the adult
number of legs. It gains more
legs every time it molts, or
sheds, its hard outer shell.
Below: After elaborate leg-waving
courtship rituals, millipedes may
mate for many hours.
• One species of millipede
was oOnee ground up and
used to poison arrowtips.
• Some millipedes spit a
fluid that can cause blind-
ness in humans.
Scleractinia Dip/oria, Meandrina, etc.
A brain coral is not a single animal, but rather a colony of tiny
creatures. These organisms sift through the water for food,
trapping and paralyzing their prey with miniature poison darts.
KEY FACTS
SIZE
Diameter of colony: Up to 61$ ft.
BREEDING
Sexual reproduction: Spawns in
late spring or early summer, a few
nights after full moon.
No. of eggs: Several thousand,
depending on size of colony.
Asexual reproduction: Colonies
grow by sprouting new but geneti-
cally identical polyps.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Fixed colonies grow on
skeletal limestone.
DISTRIBUTION
Diet: Microscopic floating animals
supplemented by nutrients made
by single-celled plants that live
within the coral.
Brain corals are found on coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea,
Pacific Ocean, and Indian Ocean.
RELATED SPECIES CONSERVATION
There are many different species of
brain coral belonging to two fami-
lies. All corals are relatives of sea
anemones and jellyfish.
Like all reef species, brain corals are threatened by pollution,
coastal development, and, in the long term, global warming.
Some corals are collected and dried as souvenirs for touri sts.
FEATURES OF BRAIN CORALS
Form: Domelike or egg-shaped
in appearance. Living polyps cover
the surface, building upward and
outward. Beneath them lie the
skeletons of dead polyps.
Habitat: Warm, clear, shallow water
with a firm bed. Most corals colonize
rocky areas or submerged wrecks.
Sunlight is an essential requirement.
Polyp (detail): Tiny organism that is
the basic unit of the colony. Arranged
in dense rows. Each polyp has a
crown of tentacles with poison darts
for killing its tiny zooplankton prey.
Mouth: Lies at the center of
each polyp's tentacle crown. The prey is
passed to the mouth by the tentacles.
The mouth also releases sex cells.
©MCMXCVI IMP BV/IMP INC. WILDLIFE FACT FILETM PRINTED IN U.S.A.
RELEASING SEX CELLS
Sex cell production: Eggs and
sperm are formed in small pink
bundles that move up to the
mouth of each polyp.
Spawning: All the corals in one
reef area release their sex cells
simultaneously. The bundles float
up and burst , allowing sperm cells
to fertilize unrelated eggs.
us P 6001 12054 PACKET 54
The spreading, rounded mass of a brain coral
encompasses a highly complex colony made up of rows
of tiny organisms called polyps. These polyps in turn
harbor microscopic single-celled plants within their bodies.
These plants convert light and carbon dioxide into
nutrients, supplementing the polyps diet of live prey
and helping the coral thrive in warm, clear waters.
~ CHARACTERISTICS
Brain corals are widespread in
coral reefs in the Caribbean as
well as the tropical Pacific and
Indian oceans. The reefs have
developed over millions of
years. Living corals grow on
the dead limestone skeletons
of their predecessors, building
the reef steadily upward as sea
levels rise.
Each brain coral is a colony
of tiny, anemonelike organ- .
isms called polyps. A polyp is
basically a tube with a crown
of stinging tentacles.
The polyps stand in long,
meandering lines separated
by grooves, which gives the
whole a fissured appearance
resembling that of the human
brain. Each polyp is linked to
the next by a stolon-a thin
tube of body tissue that allows
nutrients to pass between in-
dividuals. The polyps are also
linked by a common nerve
network that ensures they all
act in unison. Under the glare
of a flashlight, for example,
the polyps simultaneously re-
tract their tentacles.
Right: Tentacles on each polyp in-
ject poison into tiny animals and then
pass them to the polyp's mouth.
~ FOOD & FEEDING
Brain corals feed at night on
zooplankton, tiny animals in the
water. The coral polyps have
tentacles that are armed with
barbed stinging cells, or nema-
tocysts. If something bumps
against a tentacle, a sac bursts
open and a dart shoots out to
inject paralyzing poison into the
victim. The prey is pulled in by
the tentacles and passed into
the polyp's mouth in the cen-
ter. Then digestive juices break
down the prey, and the nutri-
Left: Brain corals may share their
living space with stag's horn coral,
a treelike species.
ents pass along the connective
paths to feed the whole colony.
Brain corals also benefit from
single-celled plants that live
within them. These plants ab-
sorb sunlight and then use it
to turn carbon dioxide and
water into sugars that help
nourish the coral. Without this
extra food a brain coral can-
not grow. If the ocean water
becomes cloudy or polluted
so sunlight does not reach the
plants, the brain coral dies.
Right: Brain corals live only on
shallow reefs, where sunlight acti-
vates the plants that feed it.
Left: Lines of
tightly packed
polyps, with
deep fissures in
between, grow
on this brain
coral's upper
surface. Under-
neath the live
polyps, the bulk
of the coral
mound consists
of dead polyp
skeletons.
DID YOU KNOW?
• The coral colony's limestone
skeleton has distinct bands like
the rings of a tree trunk. Count-
ing the bands gives a rough
estimate of the colony's age.
• Corals spawn together to
thwart predators that eat the
eggs. Although fish in the area
eat the eggs rapidly, they stop
~ BREEDING
Brain corals reproduce both
sexually and asexually. For sex-
ual reproduction, all the reef's
corals spawn at the same time.
For a few days in spring, the
entire reef is flooded with eggs
and sperm cells.
Some months before these
cells are released, the sex organs
in each polyp begin producing
first eggs and then sperm. The
sex cells work their way toward
the mouth. At the due time-
usually a few nights after a full
moon in late spring-bundles
of sex cells are released. They
float to the surface and then
when full, and the remaining
eggs survive to reproduce.
• Brain corals are preyed on by
the crown-of-thorns starfish,
which settles on a colony and
digests polyps with its pushed-
out stomach lining. Starfish
epidemics occur periodically,
and many corals are killed.
burst apart. The sperm are pre-
vented from fertilizing the eggs
they are packed with and drift
off to find other eggs.
When an egg is fertilized by a
sperm, it develops into a float-
ing larva. This larva eventually
settles on the reef and turns
into a single coral polyp. The
polyp then reproduces itself
asexually by budding-pro-
ducing budlike offshoots near
its base, which develop into
new polyps. A whole new net-
work of stolons and polyps is
created, eventually developing
into a new brain coral.
CENTIPEDE
ORDER
Chilopoda
FAMILY
Lithobiomorpha
GROUP 6: PRIMITIVE ANIMALS
... GENERA
"11IIIIIIII Various
Centipedes are agile, venomous predators. They usually eat insects
but will devour any animals-including other centipedes-
that they can catch and stun with their poison fangs.
CHARACTERISTICS
Length: Average, 1-2 in.
Legs: Common centipede has 15
pairs. Other species have up to
101 pairs.
Mouthparts: Chewing jaws sup-
plemented by poison fangs.
BREEDING
Breeding season: Generally spring
to fall in temperate climates.
Eggs: Laid singly in soil or in
batches.
Hatching t ime: About 3 weeks.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Active at night; solitary.
Diet: Insects, small crustaceans,
worms, slugs, and other centipedes.
Lifespan: Up to 6 years.
RELATED SPECIES
There are about 3,000 species of
centipede found worldwide.
Range of centipedes.
DISTRIBUTION
Centipedes are found worldwide in tropical and temperate
climates. They do not occur in the middle of the Sahara Desert
or in polar regions. The common centipede is found in Europe,
North Africa, and the Americas.
CONSERVATION
Centipedes are under no direct threat from humans. They help
to control garden pests and should not be harmed.
THREE SPECIES OF CENTIPEDES
Necrophlosophagus longicoreis:
Spends much of its time burrowing
underground. Long, segmented pale
body with many pairs of short legs.
J ) ~
The common centipede, Lithobius forficatus: Molts sev-
eral times before reaching adult size. Has 30 legs, with
longer legs at rear of body. First pair of legs modified into
poison claws. Last2 pairs are dragged.
Scutigera
coleoptrata:
Short body but
very long legs
for speed. Long,
touch-sensitive
antennae.
--
© MCMXCII IMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILE'M PRINTED IN USA
/
0160200501 PACKET 50
Centipedes are found all over the world except in
polar regions and the middle of the Sahara Desert.
They are creatures of the dark, emerging only at
night to pursue their prey over damp earth. As dawn
approaches, they return to their moist dens,
where they hide their flat bodies in crevices
to escape the drying effects of the sun.

Centipedes are found in tem-
perate and tropical climates
worldwide. They are heavily
armored with strong plates of
chitin, a substance that forms a
tough outer skeleton. Insects
are also protected by chitin,
but they have waterproofing
that allows them to live in hot,
dry climates without dehydrat-
ing. By contrast, centipedes
must keep moist to survive.
Centipedes respond to the
presence of moisture. They
move quickly over dry surfaces
and slow down when they
come to moist ground. They
spend most of their time in
moist places-beneath stones,
under logs, in rock crevices, or
behind loose bark. Many spe-
cies spend their lives buried
in damp soil. The common cen-
tipede comes out at night to
hunt among moist vegetation
and leaf litter but returns to the
shelter of a crevice in daytime.
A centipede's flat, long body
is ideally shaped for lurking in
narrow gaps. It enters a crevice
and crawls forward until its
body is wedged in the crack. It
often has to emerge backward,
guided by the long hindmost
pair of legs, which sense obsta-
cles in its path.
FOOD & HUNTING
All centipedes hunt, preying to sense vibrations from their
on insects, spiders, wood lice, potential victims.
worms, and slugs. They also Once caught, a victim has
feed on other centipedes. no chance of escape. A cen-
Catching prey is rarely a tipede is armed with a pair of
problem because most cen- poison fangs that curve for-
tipedes are very fast runners . ward toward the front of its
Scutigera centipedes have very head. The poison injected by
long legs and move so fast these fangs instantly para-
that they can even dart up to Iyzes the prey. The centipede
flies and catch them. Most then devours the impaled
centipedes are almost blind. and stunned creature with its
They rely on their antennae powerful jaws.
Left: To find prey, centipedes rely
on their touch-sensitive long
antennae.
DID YOU KNOW?
• The common centipede
avoids winter frosts by bur-
rowing deep in the soil.
• Some centipedes produce
a bright fluid when alarmed.
This defense may frighten
off predators.
• Some tropical centipedes
grow up to one foot long and
prey on animals like mice and
Right: Centipedes molt many times
before reaching adulthood, emerg-
ing each time with more legs.
toads. Their venom can be
dangerous to humans but is
rarely fatal.
• If a centipede loses a leg, it
grows another. The new leg
gets longer every time the
centipede sheds its skin.
• Centipedes produce formic
acid, "Yhich is the same chem-
ical as scorpion venom.
[ J NATUREWATCH
Centipedes rarely emerge in
daylight. But you may find
one in a garden if you disturb
the soi l. The common centi-
pede likes dark, moist areas
and may be found under a
large stone or log. When dis-
turbed, it runs with surprising

Attracted to a receptive female
by scent, the male centipede
first circles her. Then he spins a
pad of silk on the ground and
places a package of sperm on it.
The female walks over the pack-
age and picks it up using a pair
of claspers at her hind end.
Claspers are almost the only
way to tell the sexes apart.
If the female gathers the sperm
in spring or summer and places
it on her sex organs, her eggs are
fertilized almost immediately. If
she mates later in the year, she
Left: The female giant Scolo-
pendra wraps around her eggs to
protect them.
speed to a new hiding place.
Watch a centipede move.
As it lifts one leg after anoth-
er, waves of motion ripple
down along its legs. Each
side moves alternately; while
one side is active, the other
side stays still.
carries the sperm in her body for
months before laying eggs. The
common centipede lays eggs
singly in the earth and leaves
them to develop on their own. In
many other species, the female
lays batches of eggs, which she
cleans and guards.
A newly hatched common
centipede has fewer body seg-
ments than an adult and only
12 legs. It sheds its skin several
times, growing more legs at
each molt. A common centi-
pede may molt four times be-
fore it has all 30 legs. It may be
two years old before it is ready
to mate.
SEA SQUIRT
Sea squirts spend their adult lives glued to rocks. Although they
look more like plants than animals, sea squirts are related to
some of the most complex animals on the planet.
SIZES
In a star sea squirt colony, each
individual is about ~ 6 in. long, and
the cluster is about 1,1.; in. across.
The clusters are grouped in
patches up to 6 in. across.
BREEDING
Each individual is both male and
female and produces a few large
eggs that are fertilized either
internally or externally. Mobile
larvae colonize new sites.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Adult is sedentary and
attached to rocks or the anchors
of large seaweeds.
Diet: Floating organic debris,
microscopic animals and plants.
Lifespan: About a year.
RELATED SPECIES
There are about 2,000 species of
sea squirt worldwide. Their near-
est relatives are the similar but
free-floating salps.
ANATOMY OF A SEA SQUIRT
Heart ---+--HoiliH4
Adhesive
base
© MCMXCI IMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM
Range of sea squirts.
DISTRIBUTION
The star sea squirt is usually found in shallow coastal waters
up to the low-tide line in temperate, plankton-rich seas.
Other species may be found in deeper waters, where they
feed on decaying matter.
CONSERVATION
Sea squirts on coasts are vulnerable to pollution from oil and
chemicals. But in general, sea squirts are not in danger.
Nerve cord Intestine Pharynx
Adhesive papillae
Larva: Shaped like a tadpole. Swims around until it
finds a place where it can settle and transform into an
adult sea squirt.
PRINTED IN U.S.A. 0160200471 PACKET 47
Some species of sea squirt are single individuals.
Other species are small colonies of individuals that are
arranged in clusters like the petals of a flower. Found on
rocky shores, sea squirts form crusts on rocks in sheltered,
permanently moist places. They live on tiny food
particles that they filter from the water.
~ HABITAT
On land, most animals have to
move around to find food. But
in the sea, the food itself is on
the move. Suspended in the
dense salt water, millions of
microscopic life forms ebb and
flow with the currents in clouds
of organic debris.
With so much edible matter
floating by, small marine ani-
mals can easily snare any food
that happens to drift past. Since
they don't have to move in
order to find food, animals like
sea squirts can remain attached
to rocks and still survive.
Although they resemble blobs
of jelly, sea squirts are not as
primitive as they seem. A sea
squirt larva has a nerve cord
that runs down its body and a
muscular tail supported by a
crude backbone. The anatomy
of this tadpolelike larva indi-
cates that it is related to fish,
reptiles, birds, and mammals.
~ CHARACTERISTICS
A sea squirt is basically a tube
of jellylike matter with water in-
side. When it is touched, a sea
squirt will live up to its name by
squirting water.
Some sea squirts live indepen-
dently, while others live in large
colonies. The star sea squirt,
for example, is a colony. Each
"star" is a cluster of individual
tubes embedded in a jellylike
mat that is shared with other
clusters. The arrangement re-
sembles daisies scattered over
a rock and sealed in a layer of
transparent wax.
Each individual lives by taking
in water at one end of the tube,
drawing it through a fine filter
to strain out the edible particles,
and pumping the water out the
other end.
In solitary sea squirts, which
stand upright on their rocks,
the exhaust end of the tube is
a spout on the side of the ani-
mal's body, like the spout of a
teapot. In star squirts, which lie
Left: Sea squirts pump water in
through their large upper open-
ing. Here they are grouped on
the Mediterranean seabed.
~ BREEDING
Sea squirts have both male and
female sex organs, so in theory
they could fertilize themselves.
But they exchange sperm in-
stead, so each offspring con-
tains the genes of two parents.
This provides for variation and
allows the species to evolve.
Some sea squirts release both
eggs and sperm into the water,
where they mingle and join
to form floating embryos. Star
sea squirts keep their eggs, and
on their backs radiating from a
central point, the water is ex-
pelled from the center of the
star along with waste products.
The food filter is actually
the upper end of the intestine.
Water that is drawn into the fil-
ter escapes through perfora-
tions into the body cavity to be
pumped away. The food parti-
cles stay inside, held by the filter
and a sticky mucus that flows
down into the digestive tract,
they fertilize them by drawing
in sperm with their food. The
embryos then develop into lar-
vae in the parent's body.
Sea squirt larvae are free-
swimming creatures that re-
semble tiny tadpoles, with
rounded bodies and long tails.
Each larva drifts in the current
until it is almost mature. Then it
uses a sucker on its head to
attach itself to a rock where it
changes into its adult form.
taking the food along with it.
The food filter also acts as a
gill, absorbing oxygen from
the water that flows through
the animal. The water flow is
maintained by the constant
motion of tiny hairs called cilia.
As a result, sea squirts can get
enough oxygen, even though
they live in places with very lit-
tle natural water movement.
Below: Sea squirts gathered on
Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
DID YOU KNOW?
• A common sea squirt can
filter over 200 quarts of wa-
ter an hour when feeding.
• Most sea squirts live in
shallow, food-rich waters,
but some live in the deep
oceans, more than 16,000
feet beneath the surface.
There they feed on decay-
ing animal fragments that
drift down.
• Some sea squirts attach
themselves to the under-
water structure of oil rigs
and to the hulls of ships.
• Some sea squirts can
reproduce by simply pro-
ducing extra individuals on
the sides of their bodies.
~ NATUREWATCH
Species like the star sea
squirt are found on rocky
seashores below the low-
tide mark, beneath rocks,
or under wet seaweed.
Since sea squirts need
constant moisture, they
must be covered after
being examined, or they
may dry out and die.
On exposed shores the
colonies cover rocks, but
in sheltered waters they
can form freestanding
fleshy lobes. Star clusters
may be yellow, orange,
blue, or white, with a
bright red spot at the
tip of each sea squirt.
Left: These sea squirts have
translucent bodies that reveal
their internal organs. Individual
sea squirts can be up to four
inches long.
COMMON CUTTLEFISH
PHYLUM
Mollusca
CLASS
Cephalopoda
... ORDER
Sepioidea
... GENUS & SPECIES
Sepia officinalis
The common cuttlefish hunts for prey at night, snatching its victims
with its two long hunting tentacles. During the day it hides,
changing the color of its skin to match its surroundings.
KEY FACTS
SIZES
Length: 1 ft.
Hunting tentacles: Up to 1 ft .
long.
BREEDING
Spawning season: Spring and
summer.
No. of eggs: About 300.
LIFESTYLE
Habit: Sociable; swims in shoals.
Preyed upon by dolphins, por-
poises, sharks and other fish.
Diet: Fish, crabs, shrimps, and
prawns.
RELATED SPECIES
There are about 80 species of
cuttlefish ranging in size from 2
in. to 5 ft. The cuttlefish belongs
to the class Cephalopoda and is
related to the nautilus and the
other tentacled marine animals,
oct opuses and squids.
Range of the common cuttlefish.
- DISTRIBUTION
Found in the North Sea, English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, and
Mediterranean Sea.
CONSERVATION
The cuttlefish is in no danger. It is not generally fished for sport but
is sometimes caught for eating in Mediterranean areas. During the
spawning season, a female may be hooked and towed below the
surface to attract males. Then all the fish are netted.
FEATURES OF THE COMMON CUTTLEFI SH
Skin: Contains hundreds of pigment
cells that can be contracted or ex-
panded to change color within sec-
onds. Color change provides the
cuttlefish with camouflage and is al-
so used in courtship.
THE CUTILEBONE
A soft, chalky
internal shell that
supports the soft
parts of the body.
Eyes: Large,
all -round vision.
Rapidly send
information to
the brain.
© MCMXCI IMP BV/ IMP INC WILDLIFE FACT FILETM PRINTED IN U.S.A.
Tentacles: Eight short tentacles are used
to sense surroundings, to protect the
head, and to hold prey when feeding.
Two longer tentacles are used in hunt-
ing. The male cuttlefish has one ten-
tacle modified for transferri ng sperm.
0160200461 PACKET 46
Along with the octopus and the squid, the common
cuttlefish belongs to the class Cephalopoda-
the most highly evolved group of mollusks. Equipped
with strong tentacles and sharp eyes that can see in all
directions, the cuttlefish is a match for prey and predators
alike. It can even shoot backward out of danger by
using an advanced jet propulsion system.
~ HABITS
The common cuttlefish is most
often found in shallow sea wa-
ters with a sandy bed. It hides
during the day, changing color
to match its surroundings, and
hunts for prey at night.
The internal shell of the cut-
tlefish is porous and holds both
water and a mixture of gases.
By controlling the amount of
gas or water in its shell, the cut-
tlefish can sink to the seabed
and rest on it, or it can remain
afloat at any depth.
I DID YOU KNOW?
• A cuttlefish can color 26
cubic yards of water with its
ink in a few minutes.
• The ink produced by cut-
tlefish has been used byart-
ists for centuries to make a
rich brown pigment known
as sepia.
• A cuttlefish can regenerate
a lost tentacle.
~ FOOD &: HUNTING
At night the cuttlefish hunts for
fish, crabs, prawns, and shrimps.
Its large eyes let it see prey from
any direction, even behind.
Moving slowly forward by rip-
pling its lateral fins, the cuttle-
fish extends its eight suckered
tentacles. Two longer tentacles
with suckered ends shoot out
and grab the prey, which is
drawn into the mouth and bro-
ken up by the cuttlefish's beak-
like jaws.
Left: Gentle undulations of the
lateral fins propel the cuttlefish
through the water.
Right: The cuttlefish snatches prey
such as prawns with its long, suck-
ered tentacles.
• Schools of badly mangled
cuttlefish often wash ashore,
but it is not known what
causes this.
• During the mating period,
• the female cuttlefish is said
to be luminous.
• With its highly developed
brain, the cuttlefish can
learn by experience.
Left: When
courting a
female, the
male cuttlefish
displays zebra-
like stripes.
~ ~ SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS
The common cuttlefish has
ingenious devices for fooling
predators and prey. While it
hunts, it constantly changes
color to blend in with its sur-
roundings. Entire shoals can
change color in unison.
To escape from predators,
~ BREEDING
During spawning season, the
male cuttlefish displays yellow-
ish white and purplish brown
stripes. When another cuttlefish
Left: The
young cuttle-
fish breaks free
from the egg
when it is less
than halfan
inch long. Fully
mobile, it swims
around and
preys on tiny
plankton.
the cuttlefish emits a jet of
water from its siphon (a spe-
cial funnel on the underside)
and shoots backward, away
from danger. At the same
time the cuttlefish may re-
lease a"n inky fluid that con-
ceals it from enemies.
approaches, he displays his hec-
tocotylus, a modified tentacle
that carries his sperm. If the sec-
ond fish does not do the same,
the male knows it is a female.
He then uses this tentacle to
place sperm in a pouch below
the female's mouth, which con-
tains the reproductive organs.
The female lays about 300
eggs in batches of 20. Each egg
is coated with a rubbery black
solution and has a long tail that
attaches the egg to a plant stalk.