Photo of the related Opisthoteuthis californiana; image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ed Bowlby, NOAA/Olympic Coast NMS; NOAA/OAR/Office of Ocean Exploration The many octopus species that live beyond the reach of vacationing snorkelers, scuba diving researchers and even near-shore commercial fisheries are relative unknowns compared with the more familiar shallow-water species.
A rare football octopus specimen; image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Citron Shallow-water octopuses can be difficult enough to find. They camouflage against corals, hide in holes and generally make themselves scarce.
Mimic octopus documented in Australia; image courtesy of Darren Coker Of all the amazing octopus species out there, the mimic octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus , is perhaps the most bewildering.
Female giant Pacific octopus at the Seattle Aquarium; image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Kevmin The octopus is a solitary creature. Most known species of octopus avoid the company their own kind.
Larger Pacific Striped octopus; image courtesy of Richard Ross Of the hundreds of known octopus species, most are anti-social, practice safe sex (to avoid getting eaten by a mate) and lay just one clutch of eggs before dying.The poorly understood larger Pacific striped octopus, however, seems to break from these conventions: They are somewhat social, they mate face-to-face, and the females produce multiple batches of offspring.The octopus is so rare that science has yet to even give it a formal Latin name.
Four small 3-D printed robot suckers and two larger ones; image courtesy of Doug LaFon, U.S. Army Research Laboratory photographer Legions of animal-inspired robots are being created to improve military missions and disaster response efforts—from crawling cockroach-like RHex bots to leaping Sand Flea robots and the speeding Cheetah machines.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto/ROMAOSLO Florida stone crabs ( Menippe mercenaria ) are known to diners for their sweet, meaty claws. And octopuses also seem to relish these delicacies.
H. lunulata flashes its bright blue warning rings; image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Jens Petersen The diminutive blue-ringed octopus ( Hapalochlaena lunulata ) looks like a sweet, possibly even fantastical creature.
Image of octopus camouflaging courtesy of iStockphoto/Suljo Octopuses and Kindles might have more in common than you think. It's true that you can't read a Jules Verne novel off an octopus.
Giant Pacific octopus; courtesy of NOAA Octopuses are clever, reclusive, dexterous, strong and slippery as heck—especially those belonging to the very largest species: the giant Pacific octopus ( Enteroctopus dofleini ).
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