FHTAGN: Silver tentacle rings and earrings


The jewelry looks just as good as these pieces but their production doesn't harm any octopuses; they're made from high-quality Sterling and the rings come with three different finishes. The earrings are $20 and are through-the-ear/wrap around; the $40 rings can be easily adjusted for different-sized fingers. Both get top marks from reviewers.

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Scientists are thinking of calling this cute octopus "adorabilis"


What Latin species designation do you give an orange-pink octopus that resembles a Pac-Man ghost or Pearl from Finding Nemo? Why, adorabilis of course! Read the rest

WATCH: Octopus takes a stroll while clutching empty coconut shells


Too bad it wasn't carrying a clarinet so I could make a Squidward joke. Read the rest

You can't vaccinate an octopus

In a piece on octopus farming, Katherine Harmon mentions a fascinating fact — octopuses don't have an adaptive immune system, the handy-dandy network of different immune-response cells that allow us vertebrates to more easily fight off infections our bodies have encountered before.

That's a problem if you're trying to raise a bunch of invertebrates in close quarters (as per a farm) because you can't immunize them against pathogens that could easily spread from one octopus to another. As a random biological tidbit, though, it's just damned fascinating. Check out this doctoral thesis for more information on how the octopus immune system does work. You should also read this story that looks at the evolution of the adaptive immune system and asks a key question — does having immune "memory" really make us that much better off than the animals that don't have it?

Image: Octopus, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from alicecai's photostream

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10,000 baby octopuses, 80,000 arms, 1 night to remember

An octopus' life is short — two years is a pretty common lifespan — and heavily focused on reproduction. They only get one shot at carrying on the genetic lineage and die soon after breeding. Babies are born not by the two, or tens, or even hundreds. Instead, tens of thousands of octopus siblings enter the world all at once — tiny, translucent hatchlings that ride the waves and try not to die more quickly than they already must.

This footage of an brood of giant Pacific octopuses hatching was filmed by divers in Puget Sound just a couple of weeks ago.

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When the octopus says, "ouch"

Given that people are going around doing things like cutting off octopus limbs in order to understand their distributed neuron processing system, it's worth asking some questions about how octopuses perceive pain, as well. That's more complicated than you might think. As Katherine Harmon explains, it's likely that octopuses have some kind of awareness of when they're touching something unpleasant. But just how that works, and how similar it might be to the way we vertebrates understand "pain", is a big mystery. Read the rest

The unfortunate, awkward world of octopus sex

Boy octopus meets girl octopus, and then they fall into one another's (many) arms.