Cuttlefish Shades

Why did the  CUTTLEFISH wear glasses?! For science, of course!

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

Cuttlefish aren’t fish — but they ARE amazing creatures. They can instantly change color to fool predators and prey. But how do they SEE their surroundings? Still a mystery!

Enter Paloma Gonzalez-Bellido and Trevor Wardill of University of Minnesota. They suspected that cuttlefish might use stereopsis – like we humans do. This type of depth perception comes from slightly different perspectives of the two eyes.

To investigate, the researchers put cuttlefish in 3-D glasses. Cute! They showed the animals a 3-D movie about shrimp. Hungry cuttlefish tried to catch and eat the shrimp. Did the cuttlefish correctly calculate the distance to their virtual prey?

Yes! Cuttlefish adjust their strike according to how far away they perceive shrimp to be. This means they’re using stereopsis to estimate distance! Lucky cuttlefish – that means they can enjoy “Finding Nemo” in 3-D like the rest of us!

So THAT’s why the cuttlefish wore glasses! Now if we can only figure out why the chicken crossed the road?!