Cuttlefish Eggcase (blue)


The science: Cuttlefish are relatives of squid and octopuses. You may have encountered this animal in many Asian cuisines, or you may know them if you've ever owned a bird and gotten it a cuttlebone to gnaw as a calcium supplement. This chalky crescent-shaped structure serves as a buoyancy control device for the cuttlefish. Cuttlefish lay eggs in clusters that resemble grapes and anchor them to something so they don't drift astray. The eggs start out black (colored by ink the cuttlefish use to distract predators when threatened) and gradually turn clear as the embryo matures.

The art: I was entranced by the shape of these egg clutches and liked the idea of bringing them into peoples' homes as an extension of my thoughts on the ever increasingly impossible positions we are squeezing wildlife into. If only these animals could live and reproduce peacefully in the environments we engineer or, better yet, be economically useful to us so we invest in their conservation, they might have a hope of surviving.