By Parent Géry (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


The cuttlefish is an expert at concealment, meaning it has the ability to change color in an instant to blend in with its surrounding environment (Kings of Camouflage 2011). Camouflage alone allows Sepia officinalis to be versatile in the habitat it chooses to live in. However, diverse coral reefs in rather shallow areas of marine environments are proven to be their geographic commonplace in the world (Perez-Losada et al. 1999). An experiment done in the Morhiban Bay by French scientists revealed through trawling that young cuttlefish are much more active when water temperatures are at the highest. In this region, it happens to be July through August (Wang et al. 2003). In addition, a cuttlefish uses camouflage as its main survival tactic. It can be used for protection from predators or hiding from other threats. Sandy bottoms are the perfect environment for cuttlefish to rest because it prevents them from being seen easily by other passing creatures (Wang et al. 2003).

Sepia officinalis
(c) ToniTofa

This species inhabits a wide range of depths in temperate marine regions. More specifically, they are described as a shallow water cephalopod, spending most of their time in sandy and muddy areas on the sea floor (Animal Diversity Web 2011). Depending on water temperatures, this depth that they’re living at can change dramatically. For the fall and winter months, they dive down to anywhere from 100-200m and stay there until there is a significant increase in temperature, signaling the start of spring (Onsoy & Salman 2003). These sandy bottoms and shallow coral reefs in which they are located, are also home to many fish, shrimp and other crustaceans that cuttlefish prey on for food. However, there are more than just these smaller marine organisms living among them. Sharks, dolphins and larger fish are always roaming around these areas and often times pick out a cuttlefish as their next potential meal (Wang et al. 2003).

Often called the ‘English Cuttlefish’, Sepia officinalis inhabits a wide range covering the eastern North Atlantic, the English Channel, and all the way into the Mediterranean Sea (Kings of Camouflage 2011). In recent years, however, populations have been discovered all along the coasts of Africa. This strongly suggests that for some reason, whether it be climate, genetics, or another cause, something is affecting the species as a whole (Kings of Camouflage 2011).

                  Photo: A. Kuilman 

Now that you know a little bit more about WHERE this organism lives, visit the form and function page to learn about HOW this organism lives.

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