56.3 Thursday, Jan. 5 Maneuverability and Agility in Cuttlefish Sepia pharaonis and Sepia bandensis WIGTON, R/A*; KRUEGER, P/S; BARTOL, I/K; Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA; Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX; Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA email@example.com
Cuttlefish live in complex coral reef habitats that require them to make frequent turns to navigate, hunt for prey and evade predators. Cuttlefish turn using a dual mode system involving fins that extend along the mantle and a pulsed jet directed through a funnel that can be rotated within a hemisphere below the body. Turning performance has been quantified for many fishes and marine mammals, but there are currently no extensive studies on turning performance in a cephalopod. The objective of this study is to quantify turning performance in two cuttlefishes, Sepia pharaonis and Sepia bandensis. The cuttlefishes were induced to turn within a 50 x 50 cm Plexiglas viewing chamber using a food cue. Each turn was filmed from lateral and ventral perspectives using two high-speed DALSA cameras triggered at 100 frames per second and a custom video capturing system (IO Industries).. Several landmarks on the cuttlefish mantle, funnel, arms, and fins were tracked, and parameters such as minimum radius of the turning path (a measure of maneuverability) and angular velocity of turns (a measure of agility) were determined using Matlab routines. Cuttlefishes employed a wide repertoire of behaviors to improve turning performance, including adjusting mantle and arm angles, using asymmetric fin motions, and augmenting fin movements with a directed jet. Current data on length specific turning radius and maximum angular velocity during turns in S. pharaonis and S. bandensis indicate that they are comparable to angelfish and boxfish in terms of maneuverability and agility, respectively.