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Is Smell the Key To an Octopus's Heart?

We know that octopuses have awesome visual systems and super-sensitive suckers. We have even learned that they can hear. But little scientific attention has been paid to their sense of smell.

October 24, 2014
Odd Male Octopus Flaunts 2 Unexpected Arm Phalluses

Odd Male Octopus Flaunts 2 Unexpected Arm Phalluses

Is that a case of bilateral hectocotylization, or are you just extra happy to see me? Or so might a female octopus say if she met the young subject of a new report about a certain biological oddityor oddities.

January 31, 2014

Octopus-Inspired Camouflage Flashes to Life in Smart Material

Octopuses and their cephalopod cousins are the undisputed masters of disguise. An octopus can change its color, texture and luminosity faster than you can say “camouflage.” So far our lowly human attempts at imitation have been quite crude.

August 21, 2014

Will the Robot Uprising Be Squishy?

Octopuses offer an extreme engineering challenge: They are almost infinitely flexible, entirely soft-bodied and incredibly intelligent. Are we vertebrate humans ever going to be able to build anything as deformable and complex as a real octopus?

July 26, 2013
Happy International Octopus Day!

Happy International Octopus Day!

October 8 is International Octopus day (naturally)—and kicks off International Cephalopod Awareness Days. Perhaps I am a little biased, having written a book about them, but I think these animals deserve at least one day of celebration.

October 8, 2013

Tiny Hairs Help Octopus Suckers Stick

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.

May 19, 2014

Does the Octopus Really “Fart” Ink? [Video]

It’s true that the octopus is super weird. These animals have blue blood and three hearts. And as online personality and humorist Ze Frank points out in his latest video creation, it seems that they can also “fart ink at a moment’s notice”--pointing to this as “evolution at its finest.” The video’s tongue-in-cheek tone might [...]

April 22, 2014
Amazing Mimic Octopus Caught in Thailand [Video]

Amazing Mimic Octopus Caught in Thailand [Video]

The mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) eluded formal description until 2005. Perhaps it was this banded cephalopod’s incredible impersonation abilities that kept it from science for so long.

March 7, 2014
First Octopus Farms Get Growing

First Octopus Farms Get Growing

Fish farms now produce million tons of fish each year around the globe. But octopuses have largely escaped this kind of confined aquaculturing, despite a growing global demand and overfishing.

September 24, 2013