Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blue-ringed Beauties and Wunderpuses

Greater blue-ringed octopus (photo by Jens Petersen)

Meekiyu commented on my previous post about underwater creatures, mentioning the blue-ringed octopus. It sounded fascinating so I did a bit of reading on this beautiful cephalopod. It turns out there are several species of blue-ringed octopuses, all of them teeny tiny (golfball-sized, according to Wikipedia) and extremely venomous.

An interesting tidbit is that the markings of the Greater blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata) can be used to identify different individuals. This photo compares a few octopuses, the differences marked with white arrows.

While doing some more reading I found that the blue-ringed ones aren't alone; the "wunderpus" octopus (Wunderpus photogenicus, love that name) individuals can also be distinguished by their patterns. And now we come to the point of this longer-than-intended post. On the left here is a photo of a wunderpus, seen from above - this one seems to have quite a lovely smile! ;)


(Source for modified 2nd photo: Huffard CL, Caldwell RL, DeLoach N, Gentry DW, Humann P, B. MacDonald, B. Moore, R. Ross, T. Uno, S. Wong. 2008. Individually Unique Body Color Patterns in Octopus (Wunderpus photogenicus) Allow for Photoidentification. PLoS ONE 3(11): e3732.)

8 comments:

Kreativlink said...

Hehehe... the Wunderpus Photogenicus is just amazing :)

ingermaaike said...

Wonderful creatures!

ArtMind said...

I love the way he looks! :)

Rosebud Collection said...

Isn't it interesting? I find their markings so beautiful..and to think how dangerous..Whew..

Meekiyu said...

lolol lovely pictures of one of my favorite little sea animals! Aren't they lovely? =D

LeelaBijou said...

wow, great post!

Morgan the (Almost) Muse said...

blog twins, possibly. Except I have this keen... I would not call it fear, but... unfounded distrust of sea life. Meaning, I find that octopus picture right there very hard to look at. It is weird though, I have only been to the ocean twice or so in my life, so I do not know why they both me so. I know, that was something completely out there, but that is what I do. I get out there. :D

Cate Holst said...

The Blue Ring Octopus lives in our shores. We just gave our daughter a lecture about leaving the pretty blue, and angry, sea creature alone if she ever comes across one (God forbid). Most amazing blue!

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