This is one of the many faces of the broadclub cuttlefish. I say one of many because like all cuttlefish, a particularly wondrous type of cephalopod, these creatures can alter both the texture and the color of their marvelous skin in the blink of an eye.

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The picture at left shows a broadclub in standard blend mode. This is how he would normally hunt his prey, sliding along the sea floor or coasting across the coral reef and taking his usually crustacean prey completely unaware. But this isn’t the only trick up the broadclub’s sleeve.

If the prey item catches on that it is being hunted and tries to flee, or if it is large and potentially dangerous, the broadclub has a remarkable tactic I can only describe as breathtaking. It flares up, hovers over it’s prey like some alien spaceship, and begins to flash it’s skin like a neon sign. These rhythmic pulses of highly polarized light seem to hypnotize it’s prey. Formerly active crabs freeze up and wait to be eaten.

Words really can’t describe this spectacle, so I have included a video of this event below. As I always say before showing a cuttlefish video, look hard into those alien eyes. Observe them carefully whenever the cuttlefish becomes frustrated or bored. After doing so myself, I am convinced there is a powerful intelligence lurking in that spineless body.

 

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