Why did artist Jonathan Crow decide to top the head of each US vice president with a watercolor cephalopod? Because it's funny.
When it's fully grown, this Caribbean pygmy octopus will be just the size of a silver dollar. As a hatchling, it's dwarfed by a penny.
The octopus is one of those cephalopods with seeming superpowers. It can communicate using the chromatophores under its skin; it can wriggle into impossibly small places; and it can open jars like a boss. And now engineers say the next big frontier will be "soft robotics" that could result in cyborg octopuses.
Cephalopod aficionados looking to spice up their lighting should look to Adam Wallacavage's Octopus Chandeliers. His unusual light fixtures hold up their bulbs with sucker-bearing tentacles that come in a variety of colors and levels of kitsch.
The blue-ringed octopus is tiny, cute — and incredibly deadly. One bite from its beak could kill a human, and most sea creatures wouldn't fare much better. But the blue-ringed octopus shares a trait with poisonous butterflies. It has coloration that warns predators not to eat its deadly flesh. In the case of the…
The color patterns on cephalopods are controlled in large part by chromatophores, pigment-filled cells controlled by the animal's muscles. Michael Bok, a graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, filmed this video of a dead Longfin Inshore Squid (Loligo pealeii) still-active chromatophores…
Cuttlefish are among the most remarkable of cephalopods, but nobody expected the creatures to have this particular trick up their sleeve. Cuttlefish can actually see information in the angle of intense polarized light that we can barely comprehend.
As far as invertebrates go, you don't get much smarter than the members of the mollusk phylum, which includes octopuses, cuttlefish, and squid. But mollusks apparently didn't think through their evolutionary path very well, developing brains four times over.
Tools aren't just for vertebrates anymore. The veined octopus has been spotted lugging around coconut shells to serve as mobile shelters, the first time scientists have observed tool use in an invertebrate species.