At first glance, the blue-ringed octopus looks perfectly innocuous. Its psychedelic coloring and pint-sized packaging make it seem more adorable than alarming. But don’t let its cuddly exterior fool you: this tiny octopus can kill you. And quickly.
Native to the Pacific Ocean, the blue-ringed octopus can be found in the soft, sandy bottom of shallow tide pools and coral reefs. When not seeking food or a mate, blue-ringed octopuses often hide in crevices, shells or marine debris. If you catch them outside of their cozy hiding spots, it’s easy to see how the animal gets its name: when threatened, bright blue rings appear all over its body as a warning signal to potential predators.
There are few ocean creatures more mysterious than the octopus. For centuries, its bizarre appearance and unusual behavior have captivated scientists and storytellers alike, making it one of the most loved invertebrates in the sea. In honor of World Octopus Day, we’re sharing why octopuses are the absolute coolest animals out there.
It’s been over a decade since we first met Nemo, Pixar’s adventurous young clownfish on a mission to get home to his dad. Along the epic journey, we were introduced to vegetarian sharks, chatty seagulls, laid-back turtles and more.
Now, Pixar’s back at it with their new movie Finding Dory, which follows the lovable blue tang as she searches the ocean for family. Just as Finding Nemo introduced us to a wide variety of memorable sea creatures, the sequel promises an equally engaging cast of characters.
It’s not often that we get to see ocean animals on the big screen, so we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate. Here are some fun facts about the species featured in the movie (in theaters now!)
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!)
Halloween is the time of year to celebrate all of the interesting, weird and creepy beings from around the world. The ocean is particularly abundant in unique-looking organisms. Ranging from the deep sea to shallow waters, the ocean is full of creepy creatures with some amazing skills – and here at Ocean Conservancy, we love them all. That’s why, this Halloween, we gathered some of our favorite eerie ocean animals to celebrate this spook-tacular holiday.
It’s impossible not to love octopuses. These cephalopods seem to have every evolutionary advantage you could imagine. Here are six of our favorites:
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.
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. Continue reading »
This video of oceanographer David Gallo‘s TEDTalk ‘Underwater Astonishments‘ highlights some of the most amazing ways creatures have adapted to life in the ocean. It is being featured as part of TEDWeekends –- a curated series that introduces a powerful “idea worth spreading” and is a collaboration of TED and The Huffington Post. This week’s TEDTalk is accompanied by an original blog post from David Gallo, along with new op-eds, thoughts and responses from the HuffPost community, myself included.
After watching the video, please read my companion opinion piece, “Preserving Our Underwater World” where I discuss why we cannot take the ocean’s resilience for granted, especially as we are saddled with an utterly uncertain climate future that is changing the ocean’s physical and biological characteristics right before our eyes.