This is Fred. Fred is free again.
They may not be from space, but octopuses are still incredible, intelligent creatures. One California fishmonger in Morro Bay certainly thinks so.
Earlier this month, Giovanni "Gio" DeGarimore, owner of Giovanni's Fish Market, bought a 70-pound octopus -- who has been named "Fred" -- for "a couple hundred dollars" just to release it back into the wild. And he says he'd do it again.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports:
DeGarimore said he didn't intend for his action to get as much fanfare as it has, but said he would be happy "if my little contribution can make a bigger difference in the world."
That contribution includes no longer selling any octopus-related products on his website, which serves customers across the country, he said.
"It'll hit me in the pocket, but I'd rather stand for something," he said.
image via Giovanni's Fish Market Facebook page
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Munktiki's $20 Octopus mug comes in red or purple, and nicely complements their Bell-Buoy mug (sold out, but we can hope for a resupply!). (via Super Punch)
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Cuttlefish have an intuitive understanding of quantity are able to discern between close numbers like four and five. Here's how scientists made the finding: Read the rest
Belarusian crafter Orange Cat created the Octopus George felted backpack for "crazy octopus lovers" and "sailor man who loves the sea and marine creatures." Read the rest
In Global proliferation of cephalopods a paper in Current Biology, an esteemed group of marine biologists reports that the population of octopuses (and other cephalopods) is booming thanks to its ability to adapt quickly to ocean acidification and temperature change, which is killing off other types of marine life at alarming rates. Read the rest
By pancake artist Nathan Shields, whose other creations we've previously featured. Read the rest
"Do you want this octopust to have fewer legs?" Spotted in Oakland. (via mikaeladupomp) Read the rest
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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The opalescent inshore squid (which, if you've eaten squid in the US, then you've probably eaten before) can change color just like octopuses can. In fact, scientists found that female squid can give themselves a white stripe that looks an awful lot like the testicles of their male counterparts. It's probably some kind of defensive measure, but the scientists are more interested in how the squid change color, not why. That's because the mechanism is unique, and fascinating. Read the rest
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
A couple of years ago, I recorded a talk on octopus neurobiology. One of the freakiest things you'll learn, if you watch it, is that an octopus' "brain" isn't really a centralized thing the way ours is. The processing capacity is distributed throughout the animal's body. At io9 today, Annalee Newitz writes about a new study that backs up that idea, demonstrating that disembodied octopus arms react to threats in ways a severed human hand never could. Read the rest
This baby nautilus emerged this week from an egg laid last November at San Diego's Birch Aquarium. For this tiny cephalopod, the process of being born took not hours, or even days, but weeks. The ZooBorns site has a series of photos that show how the nautilus slooooooowly emerged from the egg. Read the rest
During a community trash-gathering exercise on England's Scafell Pike, a volunteer found the remains of an octopus near the peak, the BBC reports. "The mountain does attract a lot of people climbing it," said cephalopod discoverer Dave Ascough, 43. "... so unfortunately it does attract a lot of litter" Read the rest
This thoughtful, articulate young fellow explains why he doesn't want to eat octopus. (Thanks, Sean Ness!) Read the rest
For the record, squid come in shoals. Not quite as good as a squad. But still nicely alliterative.
Via Craig McClain
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A video about cuttlefish and their amazing color-changing skills. Other members of the cephalopod family can also change color, but cuttlefish are famous for their ability to produce moving patterns on their own skin.
This is a great find by Not Exactly Rocket Science's Ed Yong. A tourist and a couple of researchers from the California Academy of Sciences have documented an instance of Pacific-dwelling jawfish hiding from predators by blending into the stripes of well-known camouflage guru, the mimic octopus.
This relationship is probably a rare occurrence. The black-marble jawfish is found throughout the Pacific from Japan to Australia, while the mimic octopus only hangs around Indonesia and Malaysia. For most of its range, the jawfish has no octopuses to hide against. Instead, Ross and Rocha think that this particular fish is engaging in “opportunistic mimicry”, taking advantage of a rare chance to share in an octopus’s protection.
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