Cephalopods in British seas – what krakens lie beneath?
Unlike any other, cephalopods – squids, octopuses, nautiluses and cuttlefish – have been a source of fascination for many years. Here, Gavan Cooke describes the species commonly found in British waters and, despite the lack of knowledge surrounding some of our species, shares an insight into their ecology and behaviour.
For a long time, the cephalopods – squids, octopuses, nautiluses and cuttlefish – have been recognised as distinctly ‘different’ from anything else in the natural world. Among the remarkable aspects of cephalopod physiology are their three hearts, a digestive system that passes through the brain (or brains, as some species have more than one), the ability instantaneously to change colour and patterning in order to mimic their environment, and cognition so advanced that they can apparently show self-awareness and sentience and possess a mind’s eye.