By Katy Gill
These tiny cuttlefish are launching a giant ‘alien invasion’ – as War of the Worlds comes to a small fish tank.
The other-worldly looking creatures all turned to stare at the camera on the other side of their tank.
Expecting food, the slowly moved toward the man on the other side of the glass, almost appearing to walk.
The two-month-old cuttlefishes’ efforts to disguise themselves as hermit crabs, a move to avoid predators, makes them appear even more strange.
Yet they still manage to look cute, drifting about slowly in the tank’s underwater currents.
The odd crowd was filmed by Chris Englezou, managing director of C.E. Fish Essentials, at the Den Blaa Planet aquarium in Copenhagen, Denmark.
He got a behinds the scenes look when he attended a meeting to discuss conservation his work as chairman of the Freshwater Life Project.
Chris, 33, from London, said: “The young cuttlefish are camouflaging themselves among the substrate by changing colour to match the sand.
“But they are also mimicking a hermit crab by forming their bodies into a similar shape as the crabs and moving similarly across the sand.
“Some more confident individuals are raising their two tentacles above them which is a threat display to warn you to stay away, but most are hovering in mid-water expecting food!
“Especially the little individual which comes towards the glass towards the end of the video.
“The cuttlefish do not actively ‘walk’ but use the outermost two arms to guide themselves along the substrate and it really appears that they are walking.
“Being a demersal species, meaning they spend a great deal of time near and around the sea bed where they hunt their main prey, they attempt to mimic hermit crabs as a way to avoid predation but also in order to surprise their prey.
“They may be cute but they are stealthy predators.
“The aim of the meeting was to discuss the conservation work of Freshwater Life Project and explore any avenues for potential future collaboration between the charity and the aquarium to promote freshwater habitat conservation, but also to see the great work the aquarium is doing also.”