Octopussy

Cuttlefish, Octopus and squid are all cephalopods.

Cephalopods communicate using their ability to control the pigment in their skin.

They flash messages in colorful spots and splotches.

This is due to chromatophores, surface cells, filled with red, yellow and black pigments that can expand or contract in a few thousandths of a second.

Caribbean Reef Squid can send one message via color patterns to a squid on their right, while they send another message to a squid on their left.

Cuttlefish add to this unique visual communication by gestures of their ten tentacles. There have been over 137 gestures catalogued. When researchers gesture to cuttlefish they have been know to gesture back.

octopus have some rather unsavory sexual habits. Although amazingly smart and emotional, they can be quite savage, you know. When a male gets sexually excited, he becomes striped and horny… literally horny: two fleshy knobs just rise right out of his head. 

He doesn’t have a penis, poor dear, but that doesn’t stop him! One of his eight arms is hollow and he starts caressing the female all over–sometimes a tad violently. Then, he thrusts his hollow arm into the female’s breathing cavity, and his sperm packets slide down his arm into her throat. If she doesn’t like it, she may bite his arm off and swim around with it for days, until it absorbs into her body.

 In some species, the copulatory arm loads itself up with sperm, detaches itself from the octopus, and swims off by itself in search of a mate. Can you imagine how the female must feel? There she is, trying to nap perhaps, when suddenly she awakens to find a strange arm trying to force its way down her breathing passage and father her children.

I have personal experienced this while ImageImageImageImageImageImagein Thailand… a conversation with a Cuttlefish.

Hence I don’t eat them…. In Korea they shove live baby octopus is their mouths because they enjoy the sensation of suction as the creatures look for escape… but then that’s Korea…  

In captivity octopus recognize their caretakers and learn to open pill bottles protected by childproof caps—a task with which many humans struggle. Their brains are indeed the largest among invertebrates, but the explanation for their extraordinary skills may lie elsewhere. It seems that these animals think, literally, outside the box of the brain.
 
Octopuses have hundreds of suckers, each one equipped with its own ganglion with thousands of neurons. These “mini-brains” are interconnected, making for a widely distributed nervous system. That is why a severed octopus arm may crawl on its own and even pick up food.
 
Similarly, when an octopus changes skin color in self-defense, such as by mimicking a poisonous sea snake, the decision may come not from central command but from the skin itself. A 2010 study found gene sequences in the skin of cuttlefish similar to those in the eye’s retina. Could it be: an organism with a seeing skin and eight thinking arms?
 (Latest research from)
—Mr. de Waal is C.H. Candler Professor at Emory University and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, both in Atlanta. His latest book, “The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism among the Primates,” will be published by Norton on Monday.

About E.E. King

Writing/Painting/Pilates/Scuba/Travel and animals...anything that won't pay the bills. I'm an unintentional nonprofit I've worked with children in Bosnia, crocodiles in Mexico, frogs in Puerto Rico, egrets in Bali, mushrooms in Montana, archaeologists in Spain and planted butterfly gardens in South Central Los Angeles. The butterflies wish I had chosen a different location. Check out my website and read a story, or better yet buy a book, painting or audio. UnfortunatelY, All of the profits go toward animal rescue.
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