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Dev Psychobiol. 2017 Mar;59(2):145-160. doi: 10.1002/dev.21476. Epub 2016 Oct 7.

Behavioral development in embryonic and early juvenile cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis).

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Groupe Mémoire et Plasticité Comportementale (GMPc EA 4259), Université de Caen-Normandie, Caen, France.


Though a mollusc, the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis possesses a sophisticated brain, advanced sensory systems, and a large behavioral repertoire. Cuttlefish provide a unique perspective on animal behavior due to their phylogenic distance from more traditional (vertebrate) models. S. officinalis is well-suited to addressing questions of behavioral ontogeny. As embryos, they can perceive and learn from their environment and experience no direct parental care. A marked progression in learning and behavior is observed during late embryonic and early juvenile development. This improvement is concomitant with expansion and maturation of the vertical lobe, the cephalopod analog of the mammalian hippocampus. This review synthesizes existing knowledge regarding embryonic and juvenile development in this species in an effort to better understand cuttlefish behavior and animal behavior in general. It will serve as a guide to future researchers and encourage greater awareness of the utility of this species to behavioral science.


defense; learning; memory; plasticity; predation; welfare

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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