Cuttlefish eat less for lunch when they know there'll be shrimp for dinner


A European common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis. Credit: Pauline Billard

When cuttlefish know that shrimp—their favourite food—will be available in the evening, they eat fewer crabs during the day. This capacity to make decisions based on future expectations reveals complex cognitive abilities.

“It was surprising to see how quickly the cuttlefish adapted their eating behaviour—in only a few days they learned whether there was likely to be shrimp in the evening or not. This is a very complex behaviour and is only possible because they have a sophisticated brain,” said Pauline Billard, a Ph.D. student in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Psychology and Unicaen, France, and first author of the report.
Cuttlefish foraging behaviour can be described as either selective or opportunistic. Observing the European common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, when the…



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