cuttlefish: even the name sounds sneaky

cuttlefish lotharios on the prowl

This has been a bit of a weird predicament for me, but finally I can do something. I knew that The Munich Times had some intriguing articles in the Science section, but they were only in the print edition. I wanted to talk about them, but not until they’d been put online. Well, for some of the stories that day has arrived.

And what’ve I decided would be the perfect article to mention right off? Well, the one about sneaky fuckery, of course. If you don’t know what that is, please do an internet search. You can also look at I’m a lover, not a fighter, and I’m really built for speed.

Here are some fish. They’re called cuttlefish…the name even sounds sneaky, doesn’t it? I’ll let Karl Gruber explain it. He’s our Science Editor:

Half and half: how cuttlefish cheat their way into successful mating

Curious, eh? These cuttlefish are some seriously sneaky little fuckers. How about this little trick of biology?

And I quote:

‘They can simultaneously look sexy for a female, while deceiving a competing male into believing they are a female…

‘”Previously we have thought that this strategic cheating/deception was only found in big/brained very smart animals”, like primates and some birds, but the results from this work clearly suggest that the cuttlefish brain has been underestimated. “This is a considerable achievement for an invertebrate and one that is closely related to snails!”

‘While cheating is well-known in many animals, including cuttlefish, strategic cheating is quite new. “Here the males are being males on one side and pretending to be females on the other side and they use this display only in a very particular social context…”‘

This is some seriously deceptive scheming, isn’t it? And how about the name?

Unless you have a very posh British accent and pronounce the hard ‘t’, then cuttlefish actually sounds like ‘cuddle fish’. Can you just imagine him sidling up to the ladies? Here’s the conversation as I hear it in my mind.

Male cuttlefish: Hey, baby. How you doing?

Female cuttlefish: Get lost, bub. I have no time for you and your games.

Male cuttlefish: Oh, darlin’. Why you gotta be like that? You know you can trust me. I’ve got ‘cuddle’ in my name. I’m a cuddle-fish.

This is a public service announcement for all you parents of female cuttlefish. Watch your daughters. There are some lotharios out there.


  1. Top Google result for “sneaky fuckery”? Well, what do you expect? Ol’ @lahikmajoe.

    I like cuttlefish because they can ink, and because they can change colors. I like them MORE now because they are the sneaky fuckers of the sea.

    Also, The Munich Times is a very good paper. What other papers would tell you about sneaky fuckery, I ask you? Not many of them at all. Maybe just the one. What a pity.

  2. Heh! Yes, cuttlefish are really sneaky. And since they communicate in light, they can pull off tricks like looking all male and sexy for a female on one side of their body whilst looking female to other males. But that in itself isn’t enough. He also needs to look uninterested as females and very keen as males, otherwise he will end up with a scorn female and a bunch of horny guys trying to mate with him.

    Cuttlefish are obviously VERY bright, and we’re now forced to put them on a similar level of intelligence as that of higher primates and some birds (parrots and crows mainly). Not bad for an invertebrate with a brain the size of a plum. Clearly, size doesn’t always matter.

  3. Hey! How come you’re the top search result for sneaky fuckery? I won a Sneaky Fucker Award!

    In my opinion, all fish are sneaky and not to be trusted. Fish are also nasty.

  4. The only things I know about cuttlefish (said with a British accent) is that parrots have a piece of their shell in their cages, (for beak sharpening?) and my daughter called them cutlery fish when she was little, possibly confusing them with fish cutllery. Oh, we were posh in our house.

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