The Incredible Brains of Cuttlefish Retains Memory That Doesn’t Fade, Unlike Humans

By: | August 20th, 2021

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Humans age, they gradually lose the ability to remember or recall events. The memory starts to decline noticeably after the 50s or 60s.

But surprisingly, cuttlefish memory becomes sharper the older they get, Unlike Humans. The cuttlefish and its relatives, squid, and octopuses can remember what, where, and when specific events occurred, right up to the last few days of their life.

These findings are based on the research done by scientists from the University of Cambridge, U.K., the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and the University of Caen, France.

Researchers conducted memory tests on 24 common cuttlefish (Sepia Officinalis). Half of the cuttlefish were less than a year old and the other half were around 22 months old which is equivalent to humans in their 90s.

Researchers chose cuttlefish for the experiment since it has a relatively short lifespan of 18 to 24 months– making them a good subject to test whether memory declines with age. 

The old cuttlefish were just as good as the younger ones

It was observed that cuttlefish could remember what they ate, where and when, and use this to guide their feeding decisions in the future. Most surprisingly, they didn’t lose the memory until the last two to three days of their life. 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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