Cuttlefish turns out to be a smart predator - in fact, so smart that they actually learn which animal to prey on before they are born!
Before they have even hatched, cuttlefish embryos can peer out of their eggs and spot potential prey. It is the first time any animal has been shown to learn visual images before they are born.
Ludovic Dickel and his colleagues at the University of Caen Basse-Normandy, France, made the discovery by placing crabs alongside cuttlefish eggs in a series of laboratory tanks. Those embryos exposed to crabs preferred them as prey later in life, the scientists report in the journal Animal Behaviour.
The young embryos must be able to see through their translucent egg case, the scientists believe, and learn which animals are worth hunting even before they have hatched. "This is the first time there is evidence of visual learning by embryos," said Dr Dickel.