Common cuttlefish (sepia offocinalis)
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Common name Common cuttlefish
Scientific name Sepia offocinalis
Class Cephalopoda
Order Sepioidea
Family Sepiidae
Distribution The Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Scandinavia to Morocco.
Habitat Occurs from the shallow sublittoral zone to depths of 200m, where it is found on muddy and sandy substrates.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of 30-35 cm and weigh up to 2 kg.
Characteristicts The body of the common cuttlefish is flattened and broad, and is therefore oval in cross-section. It has 10 tentacles and an internal shell known as a cuttlebone.

A cephalopods (meaning 'head-footed') with an elongated, flat wide body. They have well-developed heads, with large eyes and mouths that feature beak-like jaws and a fin runs around the body from behind the head . Encircling the mouth there are eight 'arms' with suckers, which are used to manipulate prey, there are also two tentacles with flattened paddle-like tips, which can be rapidly extended and are used to catch prey. Cuttlefish have an internal shell known as a cuttlebone, which is filled with gas and aids buoyancy. Colour is extremely variable, and depends on the environment, mood and life-cycle.

During spring and summer, males and females migrate to warmer water in order to spawn. Males often engage in spectacular displays to attract a female, in which bands of colour pass rapidly along the body; fighting over females is common. The eggs are attached to objects on the sea floor such as shells and seaweeds; after spawning, both the males and females die. Young cuttlefish reach maturity at 14-18 months of age, and the average life span is 1-2 years.