Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The same - but a little different

So we've seen a few pictures of common caribbean reef octopus. But of course if we've learned anything as naturalist its that nature's variety is near infinite which means......shouldn't there be some other octos kicking around? Well indeed there are and one of the nice things about the last week was that I managed to bag shots of 3 species out on the prowl in the seagrass beds as opposed to hidden in a rock peering at me. So here's the first to reach out, the Atlantic Long-arm octopus (Octopus defilippi)

long-arm octo

This fabulous chap is fairly typical of a rather successful octopus format with a small body and very long arms (famous examples are the mimic and the wonderpus of Asia) which is very effective in shallow seagrass beds. Typically a long thin stick with eyes (and usually horns for some reason - why not I guess if you can shapeshift) emerging from a burrow is all you see of them but this one came out for a wander.

long-arm octo3

Whilst out this octopus went through a variety of shapes and forms of locomotion from walking to swimming to a full-on jet spurt. In the picture above, he's positioned for full on jet propulsion and exit stage left but was actually hovering slowly to the right.

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