From Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith:
Cuttlefish sex is a peaceful affair by the standards of the animal kingdom. They mate head to head. The male attempts to grasp the female front-on. If she accepts him, he will envelop the female’s head with his arms. Having reached this position, there are a couple of minutes of stillness. Apparently he is blowing water at her with his funnel during this period. The male then uses his left fourth arm to take a sperm packet and place it in a special receptacle below the female’s beak, and, with more rapid motions, he breaks the packet open. They separate.
I have never known much about cuttlefish (make that zero!). So this is fascinating to see. Amazing natural world.
It is. It’s just amazing. Really beautiful too.
And, “the left fourth arm”! That’s so specific!
I can’t tell which is the male in this video. Maybe the one on the right, since it looks bigger. I notice that they change color as they’re filmed. She develops definite dark spots and he has a big dark splotch on his back, maybe to warn away the cameraman? There’s always so much to see…