Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cuttlefish babies!

In case you missed it, Kevin Z was the winner of the mystery photo contest - he correctly guessed identified those inch-long black things as cuttlefish egg cases. Congrats, Kevin! Your hard-earned loot is in the mail (or, rather, will be tomorrow).

Specifically, those were the egg cases of the common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, one of the organisms currently in residence here at RWU. One of our undergrads is working on more effective and efficient ways of breeding and raising them. The black color comes from ink that the female injects into each egg case.

The eggs hatched over this past weekend - 88 in total. Each hatchling is a tiny, yet fully formed cuttlefish that feeds, changes color, and inks if disturbed. They're very cute (for a mollusc).

Some pics of 2-day old cuttlefish (I'll try to get a better, close-up later when they're a little bigger). Each baby is about 1.5cm or so:

Here are some older, bigger cuttles (approx. 15-20 cm):


Kevin Zelnio said...

SO CUTE!! awwww.... Did I get one in the mail!?!

Jim Lemire said...

I think the student taking care of them would literally disembowel me if I even thought of touching one of them.

Sorry, Kevin, but I am unwilling to go through that for you.

Miriam Goldstein said...

The cuteness has shut down by ability to say anything but WUDDA!