Octopuses

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Last year we shared a tentacularly awesome Octopus Hairpiece created by Australian artist Kirstie Williams (deviantARTist Deeed). Williams received such an enthusiastic response to her creation that she began taking custom orders and has since opened an Etsy shop called CuriousCephalopods where she sells custom Octopus Fascinators with luxurious ringlet tentacles that use a wig clip to securely attach to either a wig or your own hair.

CuriousCephalopods has just a couple color options in stock at the moment, but don’t fret. Williams reports that she’s got all sorts of materials on order and will soon be making more Octopus Facinators in a variety of colors. She’ll be taking specific color commissions as well.

For now you can check out previous versions Williams has made over at her DeviantArt gallery.

[via io9]

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Genus Tremoctopus

(Blanket Octopuses)

(not octopi octopuses is correct when referring to different species)

Blanket octopuses are a genus of pelagic (open water) octopuses that live in most tropical oceans. They get the name blanket due to the fact that the females have long webbing on their tentacles which looks like a blanket. These species exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism as the females are alot bigger than males and have the webbing, whereas males are a few centimeters long and have no webbing. This webbing is used as a defense mechanism, when a predator approaches the female she unveils her webbing making her look alot bigger. They also have the Badass property of being immune to the Portuguese man o war’s toxin and actually rip off their tentacles and use them for defensive purposes.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Mollusca-Cephalopoda-Octopoda-Argonautoida-Tremoctopodidae-Tremoctopus

Image 1 Source, Image 2 Source.

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An Ancient Fascination

Octopuses and their kin, sea creatures known collectively as cephalopods, have grabbed hold of our collective imagination for thousands of years.

We share this fascination as manifested in art, literature and contemporary culture in “Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes." Highlights include:

  • A steampunk-style sculpture made from raised copper and brass with glass in the Japanese technique called “Tankin.”
  • Ancient Minoan pottery replicas painted with cephalopod designs.
  • An illustration from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
  • A drawing of octopuses attacking a fleet of ships, depicted as fact by a French naturalist in 1803.
  • A highly detailed drawing of cephalopods by famed naturalist Ernst Haeckel.
  • Glass models of squid and octopuses by father-son team of Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka.
  • A replica of the famous abstract work, The Birth of the Cephalopods, by Mark Rothko.
  • A dramatic depiction of a sea of ammonites 73 million years ago.
  • The intriguing yet slightly disturbing image of Contessa with Squid by Omar Rayyan.
  • Cephalopod tattoo art.

We also commissioned San Francisco Bay Area artist Nemo Gould to create three kinetic sculptures for “Tentacles" using found objects. Gould has transformed a jumble of junk into delightful dioramas that carry conservation messages delivered through a sense of wonderment.

Tentacles“ opens April 12.

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The Cthulhus were nestled all snug in their tentacle beds. Winter is here, Cthulhumas fast approaches, and this year Maika, co-editor of the Geyser of Awesome, has not one, but a few be-tentacled projects in the works. The first is this tentacular Cthulhumas Wreath Creature.

It wriggles and writhes; it whispers when my back is turned. My fingertips are burned, ornaments have shattered in my hands, and madness lurks in the periphery of my vision. All more than fair payment to the Great Old Ones in order to complete this sinister project.

For the foundation of the wreath Maika followed a tutorial from retro renovation an recited a few essential eldritch incantations. Then she used hot glue to add lots Finger Tentacles, old and new Christmas ornaments and a consortium of LEGO octopuses. The finishing touch was a string of tiny green LED fairy lights that was woven in among the writhing ring of tentacles.

Click here for more information and process photos or follow Maika on Instagram. And stay tuned for more Cthulhumas-related projects.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

Reasons why octopuses in general are really weird:

  • some have three hearts
  • and venomous saliva 
  • and a hidden parrot-like beak
  • they can change the color and texture of their skin with incredible ease and speed (they are much better at it than chameleons) 
  • they have “intelligent arms” that don’t seem to need instructions from the brain to perform certain actions

(this is a giant pacific octopus.)

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Behold the Flapjack Octopus!

Does this octopus look familiar? The “flapjack octopus” is a rarely observed, deep-sea species, but you may know it better as the inspiration for the animated character Pearl in Finding Nemo. It was collected by our sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and it’s on exhibit now in our Tentacles special exhibition, which opened this morning for members, and tomorrow (April 12) for the general public!

These images show the flapjack octopus (Opisthoteuthis sp.) in the wild, and on exhibit. We use a red light to display this species. Since the octopus can’t see red light, it thinks it’s in the darkness of the deep sea, its natural environment.

Very little is known about the life history of these animals. They’re one of the cirrate octopuses – a tiny group within the overall family. We may yet discover more species in this group—with the help of MBARI. They’re helping us learn about many deep-sea species, through video observation and occasionally collecting individuals. One of the flapjack octopuses even laid eggs in our behind-the-scenes holding area. That first batch didn’t mature, but we’ll try again if any other individuals reproduce.

Learn more about the exhibit


 

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Happy Cephalopod Week!

Haliphron atlanticus – the seven-arm octopus – is one of the largest species of octopus (this specimen was rather small, about the size of a cantaloupe) and no, it doesn’t actually have seven arms. One of the male’s arms functions as a sexual organ and, in light of protecting his appendage, he keeps it tucked in a sack under his right eye. Its suckers look like what I would expect to see on a cephalopod - you know, basic sucker-shaped. 

When Dr. Janet Voight showed me the ’robust clubhook squid’ (Onykia robusta), I was surprised to see that it has bauble-like suckers on stalks. Turns out cephalopod limbs and suckers take all sorts of shapes and sizes. Really, it makes sense: the suckers and arms serve multiple purposes and can act as sensory organs.

The more you know!  

Behold the Antarctic octopus!

The octopus, found at 2,394 meters below sea level (nearly a mile and a half down), of course, isn’t the first deep-sea—or the first vent-dwelling—octopus to be discovered. But it shares the same ghostly pallor as others that have been observed at similar depths. Why would these creatures, whose shallow-water cousins are so famous for their flamboyant camouflage, be slinking along as pale as a ghost?

(Via Ed Yong.)

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More anomalous Japanese octopuses. This condition doesn’t afflict only one arm per individual; one specimen captured in 1884 (first image) had a total of 90 branches, with all arms being affected but one. Another individual captured in 1957 (third image) had 72 branches, with all of its arms being affected; one of the arms (L1) was split so deeply it gave the impression of two separate arms. The cause of this condition is unknown, although since the nerves split far before the arms do externally it is apparently not due to regeneration.

Okada, Y.  On Japanese Octopuses with branched Arms, with Special Reference to their Captures from 1884 to 1964. Proceedings of the Japan Academy 41(7) 618–623.