Animal of the day – 1/26/2011 – The Blanket Octopus

Blanket Octopus

The animal of the day is the Blanket Octopus. (Did you know: These guys show one of the most extreme form of sexual dimorphism. The males of this species only grow up to about 3 Centimeters, while the females grow up to 2 Meters! That’s a 100 fold jump in size!

Try hooking up with a female 100 times as big as you! [Or, don’t…]

Only the females have the thin membrane between their arms that give them their name, the Blanket Octopus.

Also, these octopuses have a awesome manner of self defense. They are immune to the stings of a highly deadly jellyfish called the Portugese-Man-Of-War, so the octopuses rip the stingers off of them, and use them as defense!

 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 11:55:58

    Awesome post! One question…what is up with the blanket? Does it serve a function? Seems like they would have all they need with their 8 legs (though I only count 6 in the picture?) and the borrowed jelly fish stingers.

    Reply

    • simbania
      Jan 26, 2011 @ 12:11:15

      The female uses the blanket as a defense mechanism to make herself appear much larger than she is to scare away predators.
      I should have noted that mainly the males and adolescent females use the jelly-fish tentacles. Rarely do fully grown females use those, they instead puff up to look bigger.

      Oh, and yes, they have 8 arms, but the ‘blankets’ are only connected on about 4 of them!

      Reply

  2. Laura
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 15:29:47

    Thanks! That second octopus looks like she upgraded to a cashmere blanket. Good for her!

    Reply

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