Feeding Fridays: Pharoah Cuttlefish

By: Erik Hanson


This week’s Feeding Friday post throws the spotlight on the beautiful and mysterious Pharaoh cuttlefish (sepia pharaonis), a large species found in the Indian Ocean. You may be surprised to learn that cuttlefish aren’t really fish, but rather a member of the cephalopod class, which also includes octopus and squid.

Strange eating…

All cephalopods have an internal bird-like beak, located in the center of their tentacles – and only visible when they eat. In order to hunt, cuttlefish use two feeding arms that shoot out to capture prey, and then they hold onto their prospective meal with the suction cups on their tentacles. Then they draw in their food toward the beak and take bites out of it.

Watch this  6-second Vine video of a Cuttlefish catching food with their feeding arms:

Cuttlefish Feed

The video below, captured by biologist Erik Hanson, gives you a good look at how the cuttlefish beak works. The video captures a cuttlefish noshing on a piece of krill it caught and pinned it up against the glass. You can get a good look at the beak starting at :19 into the video!

You can see our Cuttlefish up close in KidZone (Zone C).