Published on Jul 24, 2014
Cuttlefishes and octopuses. Part 16 of my documentary, "Mucky Secrets", about the fascinating marine creatures of the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia.
In this video I look at cuttlefishes (Sepiida) and octopuses (Octopoda); types of cephalopod (Cephalopoda) found in the Lembeh Strait.
The broadclub cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) is the second largest species of cuttlefish, and the most common on coral reefs. It can adopt an infinite number of textures, colours and poses to camouflage itself, communicate and to hypnotize prey.
As the name suggests, the crinoid cuttlefish (Sepia sp.) tends to hang around feather stars. We find one hiding amongst the branches of a decaying staghorn coral. This is an undescribed species known only from Indonesia, and recognised by the dark spots at the front of its lower arms.
The dwarf cuttlefish, or stumpy-spined cuttlefish (Sepia bandensis) is a tiny species that is usually only seen at night. Rather than swimming, it usually uses its lower arms to walk on and explore the seabed. It is often found in association with echinoderms such as sea urchins.
Another species that walks on its arms is one of the real stars of Lembeh, the flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi). When disturbed it abandons its camouflage and the skin adopts spectacular shades of purple and yellow, with waves of white radiating down the mantle. The colour changes are achieved by adjusting millions of pigmented cells in the skin called chromatophores. This is an example of aposematic coloration whereby a creature warns potential predators of its toxicity. Scientists have recently discovered that the flamboyant cuttlefish's muscle tissue contains a unique and highly potent toxin, proving that this display is no bluff.
We see an adult flamboyant cuttlefish using its special feeding tentacles to snatch prey such as small shrimps and gobes, and a tiny juvenile raising its median tentacles, a common threat display amongst cuttlefishes.
Cuttlefishes' intelligence and unique powers compensate for their lack of a protective shell. They have the highest brain-to-body-mass ratio of all invertebrates, and researchers have shown them to possess a good memory and a high capacity for learning.
Octopuses are closely related to cuttlefishes and have similar characteristics and intelligence.
At TK we encounter an undescribed octopus, a near relative of the mimic octopus and wonderpus, retreating to its burrow with a captured crab. The octopus usually injects the crab with a paralysing saliva before using it's parrot-like beak at the centre its arms to excavate the meat from the crab.
Finally on a night dive at Aer Perang we encounter a starry night octopus, Callistoctopus luteus, twisting and turning around the reef as it tries to escape my attention.
There are English captions showing either the full narration or the common and scientific names of the marine life, along with the dive site names.
"Mucky Secrets" is being serialised weekly on YouTube. Please subscribe to my channel to receive notifications of new episodes as I release them. The series will feature a huge diversity of weird and wonderful marine animals including frogfish, nudibranchs, scorpionfish, crabs, shrimps, moray eels, seahorses, octopus, cuttlefish etc..
Thanks to TekMerc (www.soundcloud.com/tekmerc
) for the music track, "Untitled Ambient Tune" and to Ojini Project (www.soundcloud.com/ojiniproject
) for the track, "Melody of the Lost Ark". These tracks are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Thanks to the staff and keen-eyed divemasters of Two Fish Divers (http://www.twofishdivers.com
), for accommodation, diving services and critter-spotting.
The video was shot by Nick Hope with a Sony HVR-Z1P HDV camera in a Light & Motion Bluefin HD housing with Light & Motion Elite lights and a flat port. A Century +3.5 diopter was used for the most of the macro footage.
I have more scuba diving videos and underwater footage on my website at: