Just Don’t Eat It

The aptly named flamboyant cuttlefish puts on a surreal display.

All cuttlefish have style, but few are as flashy as the flamboyant cuttlefish, or Moretasepia pfefferi.


Its “chromatophores,” pigment-filled cells that can expand and contract, allow it to mimic a dazzling array of colors and patterns to camouflage into its surroundings or intimidate potential predators. Watch their patterns dance in the video above, created by Hugh Ryono from the Jewels of the Pacific exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

Cute but definitely not cuddly, cuttlefish have a dark secret: most species use saliva-borne neurotoxins to incapacitate prey. The flamboyant cuttlefish is an exception, with a toxin located in its muscle tissue, making it particularly dangerous for predators. Its toxin is as lethal as blue ringed octopus’—and they’re considered one of the most venomous animals on Earth.

See more videos from the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Update, Aug. 7, 2015: This post has been updated to include more information about the cuttlefish video.