Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cuttlefish attacks

Aggressive cuttlefish on Seacliff Reef (Photo by Antony King)
Phil Porter from Port Lincoln recently told me, “I have just read with interest the article in the 2007 journal regarding cuttlefish attacks on divers. I had an encounter with a large cuttlefish many years ago while diving on a shipwreck just north of here. We were diving from a boat in about 20metres of water. I saw the cuttlefish sitting among the wreck and went in close for a photo. It suddenly rushed out and grabbed the camera, hanging on for several moments. It let go then retreated a little way, before suddenly deciding it wanted more. It again attacked the camera, almost ripping it from my hands. I thought it was probably getting upset because it was able to see its own reflection in the camera lens (it was an SLR in a housing with a large glass lens in front), but after letting go and retreating the second time, it swam back out and attacked my friend who was swimming slowly past. He pushed it away with his fins, and we both swam off, leaving it in peace. Toward the end of the dive, however, it again attacked us as we swam past it, heading back toward the anchor rope. It grabbed my friend's arm, but didn't bite. After pushing it away, it went back among the wreck and sat watching us until we retreated. This is the only time I have ever witnessed aggressive behavior from a cuttlefish, though I have been very close to them many times. I can't recall the exact time of year, but I think it was probably early autumn”, Phil said.
I replied to Phil, saying “I'm happy that you were interested in my article on cuttlefish attacks (see ). I am just as interested in your cuttlefish attack story. I will do whatever I can with your cuttlefish information.”

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