A cuttlefish is a type of mollusk, a Cephalopod, which has a highly developed central nervous system. Similar to octopuses and squids they arguably among the smartest invertebrates with the largest brain-to-body size ratio of all invertebrates. Also, they have an internal shell called a cuttlebone, which is porous and allows the animal to maintain buoyancy. They have a typical life expectancy of one to two years. However, there are over 120 different species of Cuttlefish in the wild.
Cuttlefish are remarkable for their ability to color change at will, using a set of specialized, pigmented skin cells and nerve cells, which interact to expand and contract, exposing various pigments as needed. This color change is useful for camouflage, communication between each other, and as a warning to predators.
Cuttlefish utilize neurotoxins produced by bacteria in their saliva as defense and for paralyzing prey. Some species, such as the flamboyant cuttlefish, have toxins as lethal as that of the blue-ringed octopus
The flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) was reared successfully for the first time by aquarists here at the Long Island Aquarium.
There are roughly 120 species of cuttlefish currently known