The southern sand octopus (Octopus kaurna) whips up some seafloor "quicksand" lined with mucus and burrows into it to rest during the daytime. From New Scientist:
(University of Melbourne researcher Jasper) Montana and his team first caught the octopus in the act of burrowing in 2008 when they were scuba diving at night in Port Philip Bay, south of Melbourne, Australia. When they shone a light on the octopus, the startled animal spread out its arms and repeatedly injected high-powered jets of water into the sediment using its funnel. This caused grains of sand to be temporarily suspended in water, making it like sandy water.
“The sediment became fluid like quicksand,” Montana says. The octopus put its arms into the sand while still pumping out water and eventually dived down into the sediment. The liquefied sand is likely to reduce drag and so allow the animal to burrow more quickly, using less energy, Montana’s team speculates....
They (later) found that the animal used its arms and mantle to push the sand away and form a burrow. It also extended two arms to the surface to create a narrow chimney to breathe through. Finally, it secured the walls of its new home with a layer of mucus that kept the grains of sand together so the entire thing maintained its shape.
"Zoologger: Octopus makes own quicksand to build burrow on seabed" (New Scientist via Laughing Squid)
From BBC Earth’s “Spy in the Wild” series. Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty robot!
PHOTO provided by Anna Dubrovskaya, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. When a circus troupe tried to load the animals into a truck to head to the next destination, they resisted, and walked away. In Russia’s third-largest city, Yekaterinburg, some residents recently witnessed two elephants wandering snowy streets, after escaping from an Italian circus […]
• Whither the in-flight emotional support miniatures horses? • “Officials highlighted a few areas where they are most eager to get comments, including whether miniatures horses should continue to qualify as service animals” Proposed new FAA rules would mean no more passengers bringing what are identified as emotional-support animals on airplanes, unless the animals are […]
It’s no secret that when it comes to building your brand online, nothing beats having a powerful and streamlined website. BoxHosting Website Hosting makes it easy to create an extensive online presence with room for 500 domains, 500 10GB email accounts, and unlimited desk space—and you only have to pay $45 for life. In addition […]
There’s never been a better time to work as a web developer—regardless of whether you’re looking to work with a big company or as a solo freelancer. The Essential PHP Coding Bundle will get you up to speed with one of the world’s most popular and powerful web development scripting languages, and it’s currently available […]
There’s overwhelming support for clean energy, and the planet is giving us more reasons to invest in renewable power sources with every passing year. Even in the most inhospitable areas, wind and solar can provide a good chunk of our power, if not all of it. So why aren’t we all taking advantage of it? […]