One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A swimming marine mollusc that resembles a broad-bodied squid, having eight arms and two long tentacles that are used for grabbing prey. Its internal skeleton is the familiar cuttlebone, which it uses for adjusting buoyancy.
Order Sepioidea, class Cephalopoda: Sepia and other genera
- ‘The whale's prey includes squid, cuttlefish, herring, and sea stars, or starfish.’
- ‘Nautilus shells are often used decoratively, and the internal shell of a cuttlefish, or cuttle bone, is sold in the pet trade as a calcium source for birds.’
- ‘Ammonoids are descendants of the extinct, primitive coiled nautiloids and they are extinct relatives of modern squid, octopus, cuttlefish, and nautilus.’
- ‘Both cuttlefish and squid may be called inkfish.’
- ‘Her current experiments on learning suggest that both cephalopods do well with spatial learning; cuttlefishes seem to learn their way around a maze with the same facility as octopuses.’
Late 16th century: from cuttle + fish.
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