Solid info on toxins in cephalopods.

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So far, no published studies have investigated whether there’s a bite behind the flamboyant cuttlefish’s bark, but one research team is hoping to soon offer some insight. Grasse has been sending flamboyant cuttlefish from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to researchers at Georgia Southern University and Utah State University, Uintah Basin, who are conducting toxicology studies on both captive-raised and wild specimens, as well as on two other cuttlefish species—the dwarf cuttlefish and the European cuttlefish. (The latter two were intended as controls. Before this research, no cuttlefish species were known to contain toxins.)
Preliminary results have revealed something surprising. Using a sensitive amino assay, the researchers have detected in all three species what they suspect is TTX—at trace amounts. The highest level—100 nanograms—appeared in a wild-caught, male flamboyant cuttlefish. That amount is 10,000 times less than what it would take to kill off a few humans, suggesting that M. pfefferi is “probably not toxic to most vertebrate predators,” says Becky Williams, an assistant professor of biology at Utah State University, Uintah Basin, and one of the researchers on the project.

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