Culinary Cuttlefish

It’s date night — that means dinner out! Should I snack now, or save my appetite?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

We remember the past and plan for our future. But not all animals can do this. So why do we?

Pauline Billard from the University of Cambridge says, ask a cuttlefish! Why cuttlefish? Despite being squishy sea critters, cuttlefish have remarkably similar brains to us humans.

She tested two groups. One was fed a big shrimp dinner, every night. It’s a cuttlefish favorite! The other group was fed randomly — sometimes not at all!

Billard noticed cuttlefish who were fed randomly ALWAYS ate right away. But those who knew shrimp was on the menu? They’d pass up those daytime snacks! The same way YOU might eat light before Thanksgiving dinner. This means that cuttlefish can plan ahead — based on past experience.

Billard’s research is helping scientists understand how complex brains evolved.

In the meantime, get those fish some Tupperware — then they can save their leftovers, too!