Stories tagged octopus

Remember back a few years when Nadya Suleman was in the news? She was the young woman who gave birth to octuplets. The media dubbed her Octomom, and some people were outraged "Eight babies at once? That's ludicrous!" was a common rant. You think so? Well, how about this real Octomom? Her name is Opal and last year she gave birth to over 50,000 babies! Of course, Opal's an actual octopus, so it doesn't seem so outrageous. Anyway, Laurynn Evans, a scuba diver in Seattle, Washington discovered Opal in 2009 while diving off shore in West Seattle. After she realized that Opal was a female and had laid eggs - lots of them - she began regularly videotaping her right through the big night of the massive hatching (I don't think Opal survived the ordeal). You can see the blessed event in the video below and read more about it on NPR's sciencey blog Krulwich Wonders. That's a lot of diapers.

It's been a while since I've posted one of these, but here's an interesting predator face off between a sea lion and octopus. Place your bets on who you think will win. Then watch the video and see if you're right.

and treated.

It wasn't humans that vandalized offices at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium this week. Click here to find out who's responsible. It just makes me wanna take the culprit and throw him onto the ice at a hockey rink.

Oct
31
2008

Zoological counterstategists are working around the clock: If they discover what would happen if they wrapped themselves around our faces... The war would be over.
Zoological counterstategists are working around the clock: If they discover what would happen if they wrapped themselves around our faces... The war would be over.Courtesy ccaviness
Breaking news from the field of science: mollusks remain strange, unnerving. Chief among their many unsettling attributes are tentacles, highly developed brains, and an inborn desire to mess up the world of men.

A German octopus, name of Otto, has been conducting small-scale trial runs of what is no doubt a plan to disrupt that county’s entire electric infrastructure.

The staff of the Sea Star Aquarium in Colburg, Germany, had been baffled by the facility’s frequent short circuits and subsequent aquarium-wide power failures, until they began taking turns sleeping on the floor to discover the source of the problem. They found that two-foot seven-inch Otto the octopus, apparently irritated by the bright light over his tank, was climbing to the rim of his aquarium to shoot jets of water at the 2000-watt spotlight above him. The electrical havoc that followed allowed Otto to get his beauty sleep (and shut off the pumps in all the other tanks, slowly suffocating the aquarium’s other animals).

Aquarium officials refuse to acknowledge the threatening situation in front of their faces, instead making excuses for the octopus. When the aquarium closes for the winter, they claim, Otto gets bored and causes mischief for attention and stimulation. In addition to the dangerous act of vandalism above, Otto has been seen juggling the hermit crabs that he lives with, damaging the glass of his tank by throwing stones at it, and obsessively rearranging the items in his tank, to “the distress of his fellow tank inhabitants.”

This is a dangerous situation. What’s to be done here?

Um...: ...tentacles.
Um...: ...tentacles.Courtesy Giant Ginko
Good thing tentacles are so popular today. Otherwise this would have given me nightmares for the rest of my life.

If you only look at the pictures and not at the rest of the post, scientists aren't sure exactly what causes this sort of tentacle bonanza, but it may be caused by an (extremely) abnormal regeneration of the octopus's limbs after an injury.

Also, if you feel like being sassy to me, don't start. Technically octopuses have arms, not tentacles. In mollusks, tentacles are generally longer than arms, and only have suckers at their tips.

But... tentacles!

Jul
25
2007

These three stories are all about weird fish.  No, not the restaurant in SF, but the wet kind.: Photo by lawgeek at flickr.com
These three stories are all about weird fish. No, not the restaurant in SF, but the wet kind.: Photo by lawgeek at flickr.com

I surf the web. I read the blogs. I see stuff that looks interesting, and I file it away, They accumulate, they reach critical mass, and they burst forth in full, horrendous flower.

Which is a roundabout way of saying, I’ve seen a few interesting articles on marine life lately, and rather than write three separate posts, I thought I’d wrap them all up into one.

Octosquid

Scientists in Hawaii have discovered a new deep-sea creature with the arms of an octopus and the mantle of a squid. Dubbed “octosquid,” it was caught in the filter of a deep sea pipeline.

Hungry squid invade California

Humboldt squid, a giant predator that can grow 7 feet long and weigh up to 110 pounds, has expanded its range into central California. It normally hangs out in tropical waters from Peru to Costa Rica. But fishing pressures have reduced its natural predators – tuna, swordfish and sharks – resulting in a squid population explosion. They have moved north into new territory. Humans, seals, otters and other mammals have nothing to fear, but the squid do eat large amounts of hake, anchovy and other commercial fish.

Sea monsters

Check out this photo gallery of weird, cool creatures of the deep.