Smart and Stealthy Cuttlefish | The Institute for Creation Research

Smart and Stealthy Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) belong to an order of cephalopods called Sepioidea. They appear suddenly in the fossil record as cephalopods. "Ancestral cephalopods" are unknown. Using hydropropulsion as their primary locomotion, cuttlefish are quite mobile and extremely agile.

Many zoologists consider cuttlefish to be the most intelligent invertebrate species, which is quite a problem from an evolutionary perspective. Evolutionists view intelligence evolving through social interactions and long life spans. But cuttlefish are cephalopods. They don't have a complex social structure and live only about a year—the lifespan of a butterfly. How did cuttlefish become so bright?

In addition, these animals have a kind of visual "superpower," in that they can "see" information in light waves we humans cannot. Sometimes electric fields, of which light is composed, can become preferentially aligned in a certain direction, a phenomenon called polarization. Cuttlefish have been designed to sense when the direction of polarized light changes. Other animals have polarized vision, but the cuttlefish's appears to be the best: It's in high definition.1

Cuttlefish have the unfortunate quality of being delicious to oceanic predators such as sharks. This is why these "chameleons of the sea" are also designed with camouflage—and a recently discovered electrical stealth technology.2 They emit a weak electrical field (a tiny artifact really, about 75,000 times fainter than a AAA battery) from four parts of its body. A shark can detect these microvolt emissions using its array of sensitive detectors studding its snout.

What's a cuttlefish to do? Upon sensing a shark it immediately freezes and covers its body openings (its mouth and the siphon it uses for hydropropulsion) with its arms while clamping down on its mantle (the large fold of soft tissue on its back). This results in a drop in the current the cuttlefish emits. Reducing the cuttlefish's tell-tale electrical signal lowers the chances of being discovered... and eaten.

The appealing cuttlefish therefore has two ways to evade being consumed: visual camouflage operating in less than a second, and the recently discovered electrical stealth.

Both stealth camo and technology requires a stealthy designer.

References

  1. Temple, S. High definition polarization vision discovered in cuttlefish. Bristol Vision Institute News. Posted on bristol.ac.uk on February 24, 2012, accessed December 20, 2015. 
  2. Duke University. Camouflaged cuttlefish employ electrical stealth: Electrical masking used in addition to visual camouflage. ScienceDaily. Posted on sciencedaily.com on December 2, 2015, accessed December 20, 2015.

*Mr. Sherwin is Research Associate, Senior Lecturer, and Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on January 11, 2016.

The Latest
NEWS
ICR's New In-Depth Science Book: Chimps and Humans
Evolutionists frequently claim that human and chimp DNA are over 98% similar. They need this percentage to support their hypothesis that humans and...

NEWS
Fossil Chromatin Looks Young
What are the odds that a buried animal would still have intact DNA after 125 million years? Researchers publishing in the journal Communications Biology...

NEWS
Inside October 2021 Acts & Facts
How is the Lord’s handiwork on display at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park? Does the universe look old? What can we learn about science and...

NEWS
Two-Volume Series: Restoring the Truth about Origins
The subject of origins continues to attract interest from the public and the scientific establishment. Understanding our origins informs us of who we are...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Floods Form Fossils Fast
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
A Battle for Hearts
Since the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History opened in fall of 2019, tens of thousands of people have walked through our doors. They...

APOLOGETICS
Eating Bugs Isn't Always So Simple
The Lord Jesus Christ deserves glory for why He made Earth’s diverse creatures, and He also deserves glory for the complicated details of how...

ACTS & FACTS
Does the Universe Look Old?
Since distant galaxies are billions of light-years away, some understandably assume that distant starlight must have taken billions of years to reach...

ACTS & FACTS
Hawaii Behind the Scenes
ICR Research Scientist Dr. Brian Thomas and ICR Video Producer Clint Loveness, with help from friends and family, recently shot footage in Maui, Hawaii,...

ACTS & FACTS
Mutation, Design, and Faith
Any alteration in a cell’s DNA sequence is a mutation. These changes can come from copying errors, exposure to chemicals or radiation, or from...