July 18, 2013

The Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Metasepia pfefferi, also known as Pfeffer’s flamboyant cuttlefish, is a species of cuttlefish occurring in tropical Indo-Pacific waters.  This particular fellow lives in Mission Blue’s Coral Sea Hope Spot, at Tubbataha Reef,  a coral reef atoll and a Natural Marine Park in the Sulu Sea, Philippines. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, the huge atoll has been under protective management for twenty years.

Recently it has been discovered that the Flamboyant Cuttlefish’s muscles contain a highly toxic compound that is yet to be identified. Research by Mark Norman with the Museum Victoria in Queensland, Australia, has shown the toxin to be as lethal as that of a fellow cephalopod, the Blue-ringed octopus. Another interesting thing about this animal is that it walks as often or even more than it swims. 

Photo: (c) Herbert Futterknecht, UW Pictures

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