Feeding ecology and diet

Neocoleoid cephalopods are active predators that feed upon shrimps, crabs, fishes, other cephalopods, planktonic crustaceans, and, in the case of octopods, on other mollusks. Nautilids are scavengers.

Foraging behavior varies widely among species in various taxonomic groups. Some examples include rapid raptorial attacks (oegopsid and myopsid squids); raptorial attacks after stalking (cuttlefishes); drifting with dangling tentacles (some oegopsid squids); ambush from a hiding place (some bobtail squids, cuttlefishes, and benthic incirrate octopods); and perhaps even the use of mucus to entangle small prey (a cirrate octopod). Special foraging adaptations also vary widely among cephalopod species.

Cephalopods are major food items in the diets of many marine vertebrates, including toothed whales; seals; pelagic birds (penguins, petrels, albatrosses, etc.); and both benthic and pelagic fishes (e.g., sea basses, lancetfishes, tunas, bill-fishes).

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