ABOUT THIS BOOK
Largely shell-less relatives of clams and snails, the marine mollusks in the class cephalopoda—Greek for “head-feet”—are colorful creatures of many-tentacled dexterity and astonishing mental ingenuity. They are capable of learning, of retaining information—and of escaping enclosures. They have eyes and senses rivaling those of humans, they morph texture and body shape, and they change color faster than a chameleon. In short, they captivate us.
From the long-armed mimic octopus—said to be able to imitate the appearance of shrimp, jellyfish, and snake eels—to the aptly named flamboyant cuttlefish, whose undulating waves of color rival the graphic displays of any LCD screen, there are more than seven hundred species of cephalopod. Featuring a selection of species profiles, Octopus, Squid, and Cuttlefish reveals the evolution, anatomy, life history, behaviors, and relationships of these spellbinding animals. Their existence proves that intelligence can develop in very different ways: while whale brains look somewhat similar to ours, cephalopods carry a large percentage of their brains in their arms. It is no accident that these creatures are favorite models for space aliens or the villains of sci-fi novels and films.
A treasure trove of scientific fact and visual explanation, this worldwide illustrated guide to cephalopods offers a comprehensive review of these fascinating and mysterious underwater invertebrates—from the lone, inky hunting of the octopus, to the social squid, and the unusually large-brained cuttlefish.