Cuttlefish and Their Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoats | Hakai Magazine

Common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). Credit: Roger Hanlon

A person might wear their heart on their sleeve, but cuttlefish seem to wear their thoughts right on their skin.

Horst Obenhaus, a neuroscientist working with t░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩app in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is studying how these unusual creatures communicate with color. In particular, he and his team now think the unique patterns cuttlefish show on their skin while they sleep might be a colorful reflection of their inner thoughtsÔÇöand, maybe, even of their dreams.

Cuttlefish are cephalopodsÔÇöcousins of octopuses and squid. TheyÔÇÖre clever animals with complex brains. Previous research has shown cuttlefish have decent short- and long-term memory and are social animals that can learn from past experiences. , a commonly used psychological gauge of self-restraint and long-term planning. And they , or rapid eye movement sleep. This is the phase of sleep during which humans dream. Sleeping cuttlefish have been seen moving their eyes rapidly, twitching, and altering the patterns on their skin, suggesting they might be experiencing something similar.

Source: Cuttlefish and Their Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoats | Hakai Magazine