Bret Grasse, a manager of cephalopod operations at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., with his charge, a lesser Pacific striped octopus.
Yesterday, a story about a small and late victory for whales. Today, a small victory for our other favorite sea creature, in the form of a search for the white whale equivalent among octopus:
A lab in Massachusetts may have finally found an eight-armed cephalopod that can serve as a model organism and assist scientific research.
By Elizabeth Preston Photographs and Video by Matt Cosby
From a first batch of seven wild Octopus chierchiae, Mr. Grasse and his colleagues have raised over 700 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The tank looked empty, but turning over a shell revealed a hidden octopus no bigger than a Ping-Pong ball. She didn’t move. Then all at once, she stretched her ruffled arms as her skin changed from pearly beige to a pattern of vivid bronze stripes.
“She’s trying to talk with us,” said Bret Grasse, manager of cephalopod operations at the Marine Biological Laboratory, an international research center in Woods Hole, Mass., in the southwestern corner of Cape Cod. Continue reading →
Photo: Brandon Cole
We care about octopus for many reasons and there is plenty to learn about why. This article will make you want to know more about these creatures. Sy Montgomery, writing in Orion Magazine, is the best illuminator:
Inside the mind of the octopus
ON AN UNSEASONABLY WARM day in the middle of March, I traveled from New Hampshire to the moist, dim sanctuary of the New England Aquarium, hoping to touch an alternate reality. I came to meet Athena, the aquarium’s forty-pound, five-foot-long, two-and-a-half-year-old giant Pacific octopus. Continue reading →
Octopuses were seen carrying plastic items around while ‘stilt-walking’. Photograph: Serge Abourjeily
It is not how we would prefer to understand them, or for these animals to demonstrate intelligence, but here are some examples of how they adapt to our discarded stuff:
The most common interaction recorded was using rubbish as shelter. Photograph: Edmar Bastos
Creatures seen using discarded items for shelter or to lay eggs, highlighting ‘extreme ability to adapt’
Whether it’s mimicking venomous creatures, or shooting jets of water at aquarium light switches to turn them off, octopuses are nothing if not resourceful. Continue reading →
I missed this book when it was first published, but thankfully its author was invited onto a podcast I listen to regularly.
On the author’s own website she links an independent bookseller of her choice as the favored place to buy the book. Bravo.
Klein’s introduction to the conversation:
I’ve spent the past few months on an octopus kick. In that, I don’t seem to be alone. Octopuses (it’s incorrect to say “octopi,” to my despair) are having a moment: There are award-winning books, documentaries and even science fiction about them. I suspect it’s the same hunger that leaves many of us yearning to know aliens: How do radically different minds work? Continue reading →