8 Reasons to Celebrate Cephalopods
by Rachael Prokop
October 8, 2014
It’s Cephalopod Awareness Week, a time to recognize some of the oceans’ coolest creatures:squids, octopuses, cuttlefish, and nautiluses. Here are 8 reasons to celebrate:
8. Eight armsare better than two!
Unless you’re a nautilus, the only member of the cephalopod family with an exterior shell. Then you’ve got up to 90 tentacles!
BONUS: Most male cephalopods have an arm devoted to sperm delivery.
7. They’re beautiful
Seriously, look at this cuttlefish. Bright colors are often used as a warning to predators that an animal is poisonous or venomous. Many cephalopods are venomous,but most don’t carry enough venom to seriously hurt a human.
6. They’re really smart
Octopuses have been witnessed using tools, like these shells that can be assembled into a mobile shelter!
5. They’re good at blending in
Many cephalopods, like this octopus, have the amazing ability to change the color and even pattern of their skin in order to hide from predators.
4. They’re jet-powered
Most cephalopods move at least in part by shooting jets of water out of their body.
3. Some cephalopods can create a “decoy” out of ink
Most cephalopods can shoot out ink to distract and disorient a predator. A few especially crafty species shoot out ink in the shape of their own bodies to trick the predator into following the ink cloud.
Source: Tree of Life
2. They don’t give up
Octopus mothers won’t leave their eggs for anything not even food. When the eggs hatch, they die.Even more amazing theoctopus mom below was observed guarding a single nest for over FOUR YEARS, presumably without ever grabbing a bite to eat.
1. They need your help
Octopuses on the slopes of Bering Sea canyons are losing their habitat to heavy fishing trawls that scrape across the slope, destroying everything in their paths.