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Yesterday we were diving by Jukung (a local Balinese outrigger canoe) at a remote spot a few kilometers east of Tulamben. We came across three cuttlefish very busily concentrating on a mating ritual, so busy they never even noticed us!
Two males were competing for one female, but one male was very determined to not let the other get a 'leg-in'!
After he had performed his deed with his lady friend (a head-to-head affair with legs going in all directions). She immediately began depositing her eggs among small staghorn corals on the bottom.
The successful male sat right above her with his arms spread wide and constantly touching her, as he protected her from the other (unsuccessful) male who tried every trick to try and get to her.
We sat watching for 30 minutes as she deposited eggs around the reef, all of the time her suitor next to her or above her, his body coloured in bold stripes.
Was he caring for her as she was carrying his offspring? He certainly never tried to mate with her again. This was the first time I have seen any marine creature (other than mammals) showing caring/protective feelings to another. I have always been fascinated by cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish and octopus). This almost confirms to me their intelligence is far greater than other marine creatures.
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Reef Wreck & Critter Blog:
Jeff & Dawn Mullins run this Blog to give an insight into our underwater discoveries in Indonesia and any news about what we are currently doing .