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News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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The Best Underwater Pranksters

Posted On March 31, 2017 by

Amidst all the beauty and serenity in our ocean, people often forget the level of cunning and stealth that exists beneath the waves. The pursuit of survival breeds some of the sneakiest critters and talented pranksters in our world. So in honor of this April Fool’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of the ocean’s ultimate pranksters—from which you might even learn a thing or two when it comes to making the most of this famed holiday.

From playing dead to faux body parts and camouflage, here are some of our ocean’s finest:

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Why the Mimic Octopus is the Ultimate Master of Disguise

Posted On April 1, 2016 by

The animal kingdom is packed with creatures that use strange and unusual methods to trick predators. From finding expert camouflage to playing dead, deceit is a common way to avoid becoming someone’s snack.

But when it comes to trickery, there is one animal that rises above the rest: the mimic octopus.

In honor of April Fools’ Day, we’re sharing the story of a cephalopod that has taken the field of deception to a whole new level. So sit back and learn from the best (and don’t forget to take notes!)

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Happy World Octopus Day!

Posted On October 8, 2014 by

Photo: Jonas Gozjak

It’s impossible not to love octopuses. These cephalopods seem to have every evolutionary advantage you could imagine. Here are six of our favorites:

  1. The first and most obvious (it’s even in their name) is that octopuses have eight arms. Their arms are for much more than just reaching a difficult itch. If threatened, an octopus can sever one of its own arms to get away. The lost limb will grow back completely with all of its function. Because of its nine brains and more than half of its neurons being in its arms, individual arms can solve problems—like opening a jar—independently from the rest of the body. Octopuses also taste things by feeling them with their arms and skin.
  2. The beak is the only hard part of an octopus’ body, making it an extremely flexible animal. They can fit through anything as long as their beak can. Octopuses use their beaks to crack into their favorite shellfish meals. They can also produce a neurotoxin that paralyzes their prey and enzymes that help break down their food. The only octopus in the world with venom dangerous to humans is the blue-ringed octopus found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
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