Squidalicious: The THL Cephalopod Quiz


A Cuttlefish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium  Photo credit: Maggie Daniel Caldwell

A Cuttlefish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Photo credit: Maggie Daniel Caldwell


Our friends over at Science Friday recently celebrated Cephalopod Week (#CephalopodWeek on Twitter) and we learned so much, from cuttlefish care to playing music through a squid. We thought we’d share some of what we learned with a THL quiz. Scroll down for answers.

1. Cephalopods come in a huge array of sizes. The tiniest is smaller than an average fingernail. The largest – the legendary giant squid – measures in at how long?

  • A. Up to 16 feet
  • B. Up to 28 feet
  • C. Up to 43 feet
  • D. Up to 60 feet
Humboldt Squid on a Santa Crus, CA beach Photo credit: Maggie Daniel Caldwell

Humboldt Squid on a Santa Crus, CA beach
Photo credit: Maggie Daniel Caldwell

2. Which of these species is not a cephalopod?

  • A. cuttlefish
  • B. jellyfish
  • C. nautilus
  • D. octopus
  • E. squid

3. True or false? Cephalopods are colorblind.

4. Cuttlefish are some of the most fascinating cephalopods. Which of these cuttlefish facts is not true?

  • A. They have 3 hearts
  • B. The name cuttlefish refers to the way they cut through the water.
  • C. They have green blood.
  • D. Their ink was the original sepia ink used by artists.
  • E. They can change color at will.

5. Octopuses have eight tentacles, squid usually have ten. How many does the nautilus have?

  • A. 16
  • B. 28
  • C. 44
  • D. 90

6. True or False? If you could catch the elusive giant squid – which was filmed alive for the first time last year – you’d be able to cook up the world’s largest serving of calamari.

7. Cephalopods do some pretty interesting things. Which one of these tactics is not (to our knowledge) a true cephalopod behavior?

  • A. A male squid will kill its more poisonous female counterpart and hide beneath it on the sea floor to avoid predators.
  • B. A male nautilus breaks off a special tentacle that he then presents to the female, and she uses it to fertilize her eggs.
  • C. A type of squid turns itself blood red, which does not reflect light well under water, making it virtually invisible to predators.
  • D. A squid known as the vampire squid removes one of its bioluminescent tentacles and swims away from it, leaving its appendage as a decoy.

8. Australia’s Blue Ringed Octopus has one feature that makes it different from all other octopuses – what is it?Blue Ringed

  • A. It’s a cannibal.
  • B. It secretes a venom that is fatal to humans within minutes.
  • C. It reproduces by splitting itself like an earthworm.
  • D. It has twelve tentacles.



1. C. 43 feet. The giant squid is the largest invertebrate on earth, with 9-foot tentacles and an eye as big as a hubcap!

2. B. All of these species are invertebrates (no backbone) but jellyfish are cnidarian; cephalopods are mollusca (mollusks).

3. True. Even though they are master of camouflage that can blend in with their surroundings, they see only in black and white.

4. B. “Cuttle” refers to their internal shell, known as the cuttle bone.

5. D. Male nautiluses can have up to 90 suckerless tentacles close to where their body is attached to their shell. Nautiluses are the only cephalopods that still have a shell.

6. False. The giant squid is not the edible kind – scientists say it contains too much ammonia.

7. A. There is no squid using dead squid for camouflage but the Humbolt Squid has been known to eat its own kind. The other antics are real.

8. B. That blue color is a warning – a bite from this small creature produces deadly venom – and there is no known antidote!

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Jul 2, 2014 | Posted by in Animals | Comments Off