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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 — Katherine Harmon Courage
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 — Katherine Harmon Courage
Could an Octopus Really Be Terrorizing Oklahoma’s Lakes?

Could an Octopus Really Be Terrorizing Oklahoma’s Lakes?

TULSA, Okla.–As the rate of unexplained drowning deaths has reportedly crept up in Oklahoma’s placid lakes, some observers have turned to an unusual explanation: a freshwater octopus.

December 19, 2013 — Katherine Harmon Courage

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 — Katherine Harmon Courage

Dumbo Octopus Gives Rare View [Video]

New, stunning video from a deep-sea vehicle reveals a rare view of the Dumbo octopus. Don’t let the name fool you—the Dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis) is no dummy.

August 27, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

Health: Are Octopuses Rocking Too Much Heavy Metal?

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.

May 8, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
Happy Octopus Day! The 8 Best Octopus Discoveries

Happy Octopus Day! The 8 Best Octopus Discoveries

October 8 might be International Octopus Day, but October 31, 2013 is Octopus! day. My book Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature In the Sea is publishing today.

October 31, 2013 — Katherine Harmon Courage
7 Surprising Things Penguins of Madagascar Gets Right about Octopuses—and 4 It Gets Wrong

7 Surprising Things Penguins of Madagascar Gets Right about Octopuses—and 4 It Gets Wrong

It’s not very often that a movie comes out that features an octopus as one of the main (speaking) characters. (And they only occasionally become the star of a video game.) So if you wouldn’t mind indulging me for a brief detour into animation territory, let’s see what Hollywood gets right (and wrong) about this [...]

December 18, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

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 — Katherine Harmon
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 — Katherine Harmon Courage

Scientists Move to Patent Octopus Robot

Scientists have spent years crafting a very special, creepy robot. One that can crawl over obstacles, swim through surf and grasp just about any object.

March 31, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage

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 — Katherine Harmon Courage

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 — Katherine Harmon Courage
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 — Katherine Harmon Courage
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 — Katherine Harmon Courage

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