This is a crazy little critter - the flamboyant cuttlefish. Normally I think it is possible to do justice to the beauty of wild animals using a still camera, but I don't really think it works on - they are too strange, weird and wonderful. When not dark and gravel-like, as in camouflage mode, their colors move constantly like waves from the front and back. It's like traveling waves with colors on the skin moving across the animal’s mantle. On this individual, the dark bands on the mantle were traveling to the right in a mesmerizing way.
In a recent study by Amber Thomas and Christy MacDonald (PeerJ 2016), they categorized the most common color patterns used by flamboyant cuttlefish. They described 11 distinct body patterns. The weird thing is that out of these 11 patterns, 8 patterns included traveling waves or blinking spots. No other , , or use as much traveling patterns as flamboyant cuttlefish. Other normally only use traveling patterns during aggression or hunting, but these animals use them frequently in many more contexts, such as when crossing the seafloor in a leisurely manner. ♥
Setting their flamboyant coloration aside, they also resemble little puppy dogs. They don't like to swim, so they travel on the bottom of the sea using "four legs"; one pair of tentacles and protrusions on each side of the mantle.
This wonderful little cuttlefish was photographed in , July 18, at the superb dive site Bonnet's corner. This is a gem off the coast of in the .