Polarization vision allows cuttlefish to see sharper in partly turbid waters

Presenting Author: Nadav Shashar

Authors: Nadav Shashar [1] , Jenny Tynyakov [1] , Anne – Sophie Darmaillacq [2] , Amit Lerner [1] , Ludovic Dickel [2]

1. Department of Life Sciences, Eilat Campus, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Eilat, Israel
2. Ethos (Ethologie animale et humaine) UMR 6552, Caen, France Future – planning abilities in the common cuttlefish

Recently, the cognitive abilities of Sepia officinalis, in particular its memory, have been the subject of several studies. As memory is thought to be intrinsically directed toward the future, cuttlefish may possess the ability of foresight. However, some claims that animals cannot anticipate their future needs as they cannot escape their present state. To challenge this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment on 13 captive – reared juvenile and 18 wild – caught adult cuttlefish. Each cuttlefish was tested in a Y – maze, where they were fed until satiety. Afterwards they were proposed a choice between two arms: one with a shelter, but without any prey, and the other without a shelter but with a prey. They were confined inside the chosen arm overnight. The following day, after being fed until satiety, the same choice test was undertaken. If cuttlefish were bound to their current needs, they should choose the shelter on the two tests.
However, if they anticipated their future needs (hunger during the following night) irrespective of their current needs (hiding), they should prefer the arm with the food the second day. All cuttlefish but two went to the shelter the first day, a choice consistent with their current state of motivation.
The second day, whereas juvenile cuttlefish and control adults still chose the shelter, half of the adult cuttlefish preferred the arm with the food. Although the number of adults was too low to reach statistical significance, these results provide the first indication of an ability of adult cuttlefish to anticipate their future.

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1 comment
  • Nadav Shashar 20/09/2020 04:05

    A very smart experiment. From field observations it seems that octopus (unlike fish) do not care much about mirrors. So you do not have to worry about self recognition. Just the ability of seeing around a corner is brilliant!

  • Nadav Shashar 20/09/2020 06:23

    With sound and possible to copy link https://youtu.be/uyWMxep-FhQ