Duking it out: Scientists capture mating battle between wild cuttlefish

Cuttlefish meets cuttlefish, a tale as old as time. Rival suitor challenges Male Cuttlefish 1 to a duel, and deep in the sea, mating games are afoot. While conducting undersea research, scientists happen to catch the encounter--the first time such behavior has been filmed in the wild. National Science Foundation-funded researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory say this behavior suggests a “mutual assessment” model of game theory: Each individual evaluates his next action based on his opponent’s ability and his own ability to prevail. And mutual assessment requires more cognitive ability. This analysis through game theory is a big step in studying aggression in the animal kingdom. And the observations and analysis set up a way to do lab experiments differently.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 1:26

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