ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network
Octopus Chronicles

Octopus Chronicles


Adventures and Discoveries with the Planet's Smartest Cephalopods
Octopus Chronicles HomeAboutContact
  • Profile

    Katherine Harmon Courage Katherine Harmon Courage is a freelance writer and contributing editor for Scientific American. Her book Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature In the Sea is out now from Penguin/Current. Follow on Twitter @KHCourage.
  • Scrawny Wonderpus Puts Stranglehold on Mightier Mimic Octopus

    octopus

    Earlier this week, we learned that female octopuses sometimes strangle—and then possibly eat—their male mates. For a cannibalistic animal with long arms, perhaps we—and the male—should have seen that one coming. (Especially since the female apparently had already gotten what she needed out of the rendezvous.) But an additional report finds that octopus strangulation is [...]

    Keep reading »

    Female Octopus Strangles Mate, Then Eats Him

    octopus

    Octopuses do the darndest things. Like kill their mate during mating—by strangling him with three arms, according to new observations from the wild. Enterprising scientists Christine Huffard and Mike Bartick watched wild octopuses in action. They found that, for males, mating can be a dangerous game. Especially when your lady has long limbs. Some of [...]

    Keep reading »

    DNA Finds New Octopus Species Hiding in Plain Sight

    octopus

    Describing a new species for science is not quite as easy as it was in the days of 17th- or 18th-century naturalists. But that just means we have to look a little more closely. Such as, into an organism’s DNA. And rather than hunting through the dense jungles for years, scientists can, with a little [...]

    Keep reading »

    Meet Your Dr. Octopus: Surgical Octo Arms

    octopus

    Robotic surgery has proved itself to be less than perfect so far. Stiff robotic limbs, burning surfaces, numerous complications. But what if that surgeon’s assistant was less like a standard robot—and more like an octopus? A team of researchers is hoping to use inspiration from the octopus’s flexibility and chemical complexity to develop a new [...]

    Keep reading »

    Stunning Video Explains How Octopuses Out-Change Chameleons

    octopus

    Chameleons are often considered the quintessential color-changers. But the octopus outdoes them—using an entirely different mechanism to alter its appearance. “Octopuses are one of the best animals on the planet at camouflage—they change color, shape and texture,” explains James Wood, a marine biologist in a recent video for the site Macronesia. Chameleons depend on hormones to cue their color [...]

    Keep reading »

    Tiny Hairs Help Octopus Suckers Stick

    octopus sucker hair

    Just when you thought octopuses couldn’t get any weirder: It turns out that their suckers have an unexpectedly hairy grip. Octopuses can form an impressively tight grip—even on a rough surface. And recent detailed microscopic imaging of their suckers revealed an intricate landscape of fine grooves that make these improbable holds possible. But how do [...]

    Keep reading »

    Why Don’t Octopuses Get Stuck to Themselves?

    octopus sucker

    An octopus might be one of the most intelligent invertebrates, but it doesn’t always know what, exactly, its arms are doing. How these animals manage to avoid tangling themselves up is a major feat. But another—of no small concern—is keeping free of the strong grasp of its own suckers. New research, published May 15 in [...]

    Keep reading »

    Health: Are Octopuses Rocking Too Much Heavy Metal?

    octopus

    Octopuses are a popular entrée for plenty of predators—including us humans. And for good reason. Octopuses are nutritious, with loads of lean muscle in those amazing arms, and plenty of good minerals. But are they also harboring hazardous heavy metals? Surprisingly, “there is no information on the levels and magnitude of octopus contamination by heavy [...]

    Keep reading »

    Mating Octopuses Prefer Crab Legs

    octopus diet

    Male octopuses don’t usually wine and dine prospective mates. But prior to mating, both males and females do seem to be in the mood for one date-worthy food: crab, according to new research published online in the Journal of Shellfish Research. Scientists studied two-spot octopuses (Octopus bimaculatus) in the Bay of Los Angeles in the [...]

    Keep reading »

    Scientists Learn How to Put an Octopus to Sleep

    octopus anesthesia sleep

    We can’t really ask an octopus to count backward from 10. Which is just one of the tricky things about putting an octopus under. If knocking an octopus out (for science) sounds like an unusual procedure, well, it is. But it’s likely going to get a lot more common in labs around the world. Canada, [...]

    Keep reading »

    Search this blog:


    • Year:
    • Month:
    • Keyword:

    More from Scientific American

    Scientific American Dinosaurs

    Get Total Access to our Digital Anthology

    1,200 Articles

    Order Now - Just $39! >

    X

    Email this Article

    X