cuttlefish


cuttlefish
/kut"l fish'/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) cuttlefish, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) cuttlefishes.
any of several cephalopods, esp. of the genus Sepia, having eight arms with suckers and two tentacles, and ejecting a black, inklike fluid when in danger.
[1400-50; late ME codel, OE cudele cuttlefish + FISH]

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Any of about 100 species of marine cephalopods in the order Sepioidea, characterized by a thick, internal calcium-containing shell called the cuttlebone.

Species range between 1 and 35 in. (2.5–90 cm) in length and have a somewhat flattened body bordered by a pair of narrow fins. All have eight arms and two longer tentacles used to capture prey. Suction disks are located on the arms and at the tips of the tentacles. Cuttlefish inhabit tropical or temperate coastal waters. They feed mainly on crustaceans, small fishes, and each other. They are used by humans as food, as a source of ink, and for the cuttlebone, a dietary supplement for cage birds.

Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis)

Douglas P. Wilson

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 any of several marine cephalopods of the order Sepioidea, related to the octopus and squid and characterized by a thick, internal, calcified shell called the cuttlebone. The approximately 100 species of cuttlefish range between 2.5 and 90 centimetres (1 to 35 inches) and have somewhat flattened bodies bordered by a pair of narrow fins. All species have eight arms and two longer tentacles that are used in capturing prey and can be withdrawn into two pouches. Suction disks are located on the arms and on expanded pads at the tips of the tentacles.

      Cuttlefish inhabit shallow tropical or temperate coastal waters, usually migrating to deeper water in winter. The common cuttlefish breeds during spring and summer, producing about 100 to 300 eggs. Sepia species feed mainly on crustaceans, small fishes, and each other. Their main enemies are large aquatic animals. Cuttlefish are used by man as food, as a source of ink, and for the cuttlebone, a dietary supplement providing calcium for cage birds.

      The modern cuttlefish appeared in the Miocene Epoch (about 21,000,000 years ago) and derived from a belemnite-like ancestor.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cuttlefish — Sepia latimanus, East Timor Scientific classification …   Wikipedia

  • cuttlefish — O.E. cudele the cuttlefish; first element perhaps related to M.L.G. küdel container, pocket; O.N. koddi cushion, testicle; and O.E. codd (see COD (Cf. cod)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • cuttlefish — [kut′ lfish΄] n. pl. cuttlefish or cuttlefishes (see FISH) [ME codel < OE cudele, akin to Norw dial. kaule (* kodle), OLowG cudele, older Du kuttlevisch: sense “pouch fish”: for IE base see COD2] any of a family (Sepiidae) of cephalopods that… …   English World dictionary

  • cuttlefish — ► NOUN ▪ a swimming marine mollusc that resembles a broad bodied squid, having eight arms and two long tentacles that are used for grabbing prey. ORIGIN related to Old English codd «bag», with reference to its ink bag …   English terms dictionary

  • cuttlefish — [11] The cuttlefish probably gets its name from its resemblance to a bag when its internal shell is removed. Its earliest recorded designation is cudele (the compound cuttlefish does not appear until the 16th century), which is generally taken to …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • cuttlefish — [[t]kʌ̱t(ə)lfɪʃ[/t]] N COUNT (cuttlefish is both the singular and the plural form.) A cuttlefish is a sea animal that has a soft body and a hard shell inside …   English dictionary

  • cuttlefish — UK [ˈkʌt(ə)lˌfɪʃ] / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms cuttlefish : singular cuttlefish plural cuttlefishes a sea creature with ten arms …   English dictionary

  • cuttlefish — /ˈkʌtlfɪʃ / (say kutlfish) noun (plural cuttlefish or cuttlefishes) any of various decapod dibranchiate cephalopods, especially of the genus Sepia, having sucker bearing arms and the power of ejecting a black, ink like fluid when pursued. Also,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • cuttlefish — [11] The cuttlefish probably gets its name from its resemblance to a bag when its internal shell is removed. Its earliest recorded designation is cudele (the compound cuttlefish does not appear until the 16th century), which is generally taken to …   Word origins

  • Cuttlefish — Cuttle Cut tle (k[u^]t t l), Cuttlefish Cut tle*fish ( f[i^]sh ), n. [OE. codule, AS. cudele; akin to G. kuttelfish; cf. G. k[ o]tel, D. keutel, dirt from the guts, G. kuttel bowels, entrails. AS. cwi[thorn] womb, Goth. qi[thorn]us belly, womb.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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