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...
Shallow-water octopuses can be difficult enough to find. They camouflage against corals, hide in holes and generally make themselves scarce. But researchers can at least attempt to observe and collect them by snorkeling, diving or skimming nets and bottom trawls.The rest of the vast, dark ocean, however, presents a much larger sampling challenge...
Of all the amazing octopus species out there, the mimic octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus , is perhaps the most bewildering. While most known octopuses are able to change color and shape for camouflage, mimic octopuses can also impersonate other animals to deter would-be predators...
The octopus is a solitary creature. Most known species of octopus avoid the company their own kind. And you might, too, if you knew your conspecific were capable of cannibalism.So in public aquariums, these animals are usually kept in separate tanks to keep them safe (and to avoid any unsightly encounters in front of visitors)...
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...
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...
Florida stone crabs ( Menippe mercenaria ) are known to diners for their sweet, meaty claws. And octopuses also seem to relish these delicacies. Reports are coming out of Florida that the stone crab fishery is way down this year—and many think local common octopuses ( Octopus vulgaris ) are to blame.The crabs are caught in traps, most of which have a main funnel-shaped entrance and a bait pouch inside, which lures the crustaceans with tasty morsels such as fish heads or pigs' feet...
The diminutive blue-ringed octopus ( Hapalochlaena lunulata ) looks like a sweet, possibly even fantastical creature. Often measuring less than 20 centimeters long and covered with dozens of bright blue rings, it spends most of its time hiding out in shells or rocks near the beach...
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. And a Kindle can't camouflage itself against a brightly colored, textured coral reef...
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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