rivendellrose: (octopus)
Update to my post of last week: Just got a second email from one of the invertebrate biologists at the Seattle Aquarium, and he agrees with my conclusion/fear that our little buddy at the shop near work is, in fact, a Mimic Octopus. Unfortunately, that also means that buying / "rescuing" him would support and encourage the collection of these fine creatures. He's planning to keep an eye on it, though, and will keep us updated if there are further developments.

In a way, I'm pleased about having been right, but in a lot of other ways, I felt better thinking the little guy might actually have been a Lesser Pacific Striped Octopus. I am not thrilled at the knowledge that this little guy got collected for the private collection industry, I'm not happy thinking how many others probably were, too, and I'm really sad that the aquarium can't buy it without supporting the collection of more from the wild.

On the plus side, I can't say enough about how pleased and impressed I've been with the Seattle Aquarium in all of this. They've been very responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable through the whole thing. Kudos to them. ♥
rivendellrose: (octopus 2)
So, The Boy and I were hanging out in the International District this evening, and stopped in on an aquarium shop down there, just to look around... and found what looked an awful lot like a juvenile mimic octopus in a little plastic travel tank set within one of their larger salt water tanks. I'm no expert, and I realize it sounds kind of crazy, but I'm pretty sure there aren't any other species with the features you see on these guys - they're pretty damned distinctive. The little guy was about five inches across, "head" roughly half an inch, arms very long, very thin for an octopus and zebra striped, with little "horn" type features above his eyes and the very peculiar stiff movement style that I've only ever seen from mimic octopi, not any other species.

As awesome as it was to see the little guy (and ohmygod, believe me, I was enthralled) I'm all sad and worried now, very concerned that any buyer they find won't be aware of how big these things get (2 feet, fairly huge for a personal tank / private collector), how to care for them, and that they're pretty delicate in captivity. This article talks some about how delicate they are, as well as why they don't make good pets, and, most importantly, how the pet trade in them is causing real problems for the wild populations.

The Boy and I have both emailed the Seattle Aquarium to let them know about this, and suggest that a rare specimen like this would be far better off in their collection being properly cared for and studied than it would in some random guy's private collection, where it has a good chance of dying within weeks from poor treatment. I don't know if it's even something they can handle, let alone whether or not they would, but we figured it was worth a shot, and better than me sitting around feeling faintly guilty and worried. Everything I've read indicates that they're insanely hard to keep in private collections, extremely delicate, and tend to stress themselves to death or die from improper treatment after only a few weeks in captivity. Short version? I hope I'm wrong about what it was. I hope I totally missed turning up some completely inane species that just happens to look like a mimic. Or I hope that the Seattle Aquarium happens to have received a windfall recently and decides they want to try having a mimic octopus in their collection. :P

eight arms

Feb. 28th, 2011 10:33 pm
rivendellrose: (octopus curly)
In all the hubbub recently, I think I forgot to mention the other project I've been working on. Meet eight-arms.com, AKA Eight Arms Outpost, the other blog I've been sort of running lately. It's more or less a toy project, but it's been giving me a chance every week or so to blog about cephalopods, and I always approve of that.

This week I took a quick-and-easy skeptical look at a news story that came across my Google feed about a deceased giant octopus that washed up on the coast of Syria... and was reported as being 9 meters long and weighing 2 tons. And if you're thinking that sounds awfully big, that's exactly what I thought, too...
rivendellrose: (octopus)
Everybody out there who's into cephalopods, octopodes/octopi or really neat creature jewelry in general, you've got to check out these! The artist is one of my dearest friends, and she's doing fabulous stuff over there. ♥

I already snagged one of them (see "Waves" toward the bottom) for myself (I'll try to remember to post pictures sometime soon) and love it to pieces, and I hear several others have sold as well, so if you like one you should move fast - they're all unique!
rivendellrose: (octopus)
Octopus love at my local aquarium.

I'm sorry I missed this - Buster was a joy and a half to watch a few months ago, when I was at the aquarium for class stuff. I've never seen such an active and engaging octopus. ♥

It is slightly misleading the way the article refers to Buster getting released to her "new home" under the pier coming up soon. After they hatch their young (which is what Buster's being moved/released to do, now that she's (hopefully) mated), female octopuses die. I wish it weren't the case, particularly with Buster - she's so fun to watch, and I really got the impression that she was a very curious, clever, inquisitive beastie during the times I've watched her. With all their awesomeness as they are, I do wonder what octopi could accomplish if they had longer lives and the opportunity learn from their parents. But that's not the way most animals are.
rivendellrose: (octopus)
The veined octopus in Australia is added to the ongoing list of animals known to use tools.

Not only use, I would add - modify and carry around with them for future use. The shells are useless to them until they've cleaned out the silt and other muck that the shells accumulate, and then they have to carry the shell around until they need it - it's no good if they see a predator and then look for a shell. So that's a degree of planning ahead as well.
rivendellrose: (octopus)
Remote-control deep sea camera captures an "elbowed" squid on film.

Totally worth checking out - the film is jerky and short, but the squid in question is absolutely amazing. Jointed tentacles!

(And yeah, this gets the 'octopi' tag because for some reason I have that instead of 'cephalopods.' *Sigh* Someday I should really go through and reorganize my tags...)

...And while I'm linking, take a look at this huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard that was found recently. Some really impressive pieces in there. I'm totally jealous of the guys who found it. ♥
rivendellrose: (octopus)
Not my top choice of cephalopod, but this story about jumbo squid invading San Diego shores is pretty darned awesome. Worth it for the picture alone. ♥

That said, I take issue with a few of the author's phrasings: 'A shimmering incandescence rippled along its body, almost as if it were communicating through its skin.'

Strange that it should look that way, considering that's what they do. :P

I love this sentence, though: 'The animals taste with their tentacles, he said, and seemed to be touching him and his wet suit to determine if he was edible.'

Oh, cephalopods. How I love you. ♥
rivendellrose: (yay!)
Oh, YES. YESS!!!

RARE OCTOPUS FOSSIL FOUND!

Check out that picture, guys. Seriously. Isn't that so unbelievably awesome?? ♥ And there's a video of an octopus squeezing through a maze, but I can't watch it because I'm at work, and that makes me sad. Because I bet it's fabulous.

Why don't I have an octopus icon? Must fix this!

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