MUSEUM CAMPUS — There’s hidden treasure at the Shedd Aquarium this month: cuttlefish eggs.
Cuttlefish are colorful, tiny cephalopods — like octopuses — with tentacles. Their eggs are marble-sized orbs that are translucent, which means you can actually see baby cuttlefish developing inside. The eggs are visible for several weeks.
Chicagoans who visit the Shedd can find them tucked under a rock in the cephalopods’ habitat, according to an aquarium news release.
While flamboyant cuttlefish are found in tropical oceans on the coast of Australia, you can also see them at the Shedd Aquarium in the Underwater Beauty exhibit, which is included with general admission.
Unlike other cephalopods, cuttlefish don’t blend into their surroundings. Instead, their bodies are a display of flashing and moving colors, created by special pigment cells in their skin called chromatophores, according to the Shedd.
While not all cuttlefish eggs hatch, the ones that show positive progress will be moved behind the scenes to develop. The eggs are laid by the mother and then left unattended. They take about one month to hatch, and cuttlefish have a median life expectancy of 18-24 months.
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