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Cuttlefish Now on Exhibit at Audubon Aquarium
(New Orleans, La.) - Cuttlefish are wowing Audubon Aquarium visitors with their breathtaking beauty and impressive ability to blend in with their surroundings. A recent addition to the Living in Water Gallery, “cuttlefish,” are actually not fish at all—they are members of the class Cephalopoda, which also includes octopus, squid, and the chambered nautilus.
Similar to many other cephalopods, cuttlefish are remarkable for their ability to rapidly change the color and even texture of their skin. To achieve this color-changing effect they use millions of pigmented cells called chromatophores. Chromatophores can be many different colors and are individually controlled by tiny muscles in the cuttlefish’s brain. By flexing their microscopic muscles, they can open and close different colored chromatophores, allowing them to display nearly any color or pattern.
"The exhibition of dwarf cuttlefish is an opportunity for the Aquarium to showcase a truly fascinating animal," said Audubon Aquarium's Curator of Aquatics, Kristine Grzenda. "Despite their diminutive size and shy behavior, dwarf cuttlefish are excellent predators and swoop down to snag their prey with their lightning-fast feeding tentacles. Even when it’s not feeding time, dwarf cuttlefish can always be seen displaying a variety of changing patterns and colors."
Cephalopods are not only known as the "chameleons of the sea," but also are considered one of the ocean's most intelligent creatures and an important example of advanced cognitive evolution in animals.
These clever and extraordinary animals are now on exhibit in the Living in Water Gallery at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Tickets to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas are $22.50 for adults, $16.00 for children and $17.00 for seniors. Admission is free for Audubon Nature Institute members. Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased by visiting AudubonInstitute.org or at any Audubon Nature Institute attractions. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is located at 1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.