A crab for the cuttlefish

A beautiful broadclub cuttlefish is currently stalking our cuttlefish exhibit. It is fed an assortment of seafoods, including live crabs now and then. Recently a staff member had their phone recording video during afternoon snack. Take a look at this cool behind-the-scenes video!

[Check out our Behind-the-Scenes Tours if you want another perspective on our exhibits—like this one.] 

While it takes about a half-hour to eat a fish, it may take the cuttlefish more than an hour to devour the crab because of its crusty exoskeleton. The aquarist usually find only the carapace and a few legs after the meal.

The way cuttlefish capture their prey is pretty fascinating to watch, too, but it happens so fast! We actually have some spectacular slow-motion footage that shows exactly how a cuttlefish (a common cuttlefish, in this case) nabs its meal. Watch how this cunning cephalopod captures its food with two retractable tentacles, then pulling it into the grasp of eight waiting suction cupped arms.

This footage was taken by photographer Keith Ellenbogen at 500 frames per second, about 17 times slower than it occurs to the naked eye. A typical video camera records at about 30 frames per second.

The broadclub cuttlefish noshing on its crab snack

With your new appreciation for cuttlefish, look for these invertebrates in their Level 1 exhibit here at the Aquarium. Whether they're changing color or hunting, they never cease to amaze! And if you're interested in behind-the-scenes perspectives like in the video on this post, check out our Behind-the-Scenes Tours!

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