Video_6_Visual Attack on the Moving Prey by Cuttlefish.AVI
Visual attack for prey capture in cuttlefish involves three well characterized sequential stages: attention, positioning, and seizure. This visually guided behavior requires accurate sensorimotor integration of information on the target’s direction and tentacular strike control. While the behavior of cuttlefish visual attack on a stationary prey has been described qualitatively, the kinematics of visual attack on a moving target has not been analyzed quantitatively. A servomotor system controlling the movement of a shrimp prey and a high resolution imaging system recording the behavior of the cuttlefish predator, together with the newly developed DeepLabCut image processing system, were used to examine the tactics used by cuttlefish during a visual attack on moving prey. The results showed that cuttlefish visually tracked a moving prey target using mainly body movement, and that they maintained a similar speed to that of the moving prey right before making their tentacular strike. When cuttlefish shot out their tentacles for prey capture, they were able to either predict the target location based on the prey’s speed and compensate for the inherent sensorimotor delay or adjust the trajectory of their tentacular strike according to the prey’s direction of movement in order to account for any changes in prey position. These observations suggest that cuttlefish use the various visual tactics available to them flexibly in order to capture moving prey, and that they are able to extract direction and speed information from moving prey in order to allow an accurate visual attack.