If you're interested in using any of these photographs in any way, please contact me. Send an e-mail to naturalhistoryphotos(at)gmail.com. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Has anyone else been missing the little octopus whose development we followed from July through October?  I got used to checking on them every day, so part of me keeps thinking about them.  For anyone else out there who has "octopus withdrawal symptoms," here are a few images from the last individuals that hatched in mid-October.

Check out those chromatophores!  Some large, some small.  Some round, some angular.  Some on the upper surface, some below.

In the next photo, you can see one of the gills pretty clearly.  Look for the ladder-like structure hanging in the lower left portion of the mantle.

Most of the octopus showed predominantly red pigments.  But a few were noticeably yellow (see especially lower animal in next image), and eventually I learned that I could track these individuals easily.

Who knows if we'll ever get to see octopus of this size again, but I'm glad to have a few pictures to remember what they were like!

P.S.  For anyone who missed them, earlier parts of this story are here (hatching) and here (development).


Anonymous said...

The chromatophore pattern reminds me of a giraffe. Giraffopus. Octoraffe. Long necks, long tentacles... I see a beautiful friendship and funny kids book. -AH

Leth Benz said...

I was going through withdrawals - today we talked about cephalopods and had the little video of the babies swimming in mind :)

Thanks for sharing!

Jackie Sones said...

I love that idea, AH! Would they meet on the beach in Africa? Would the giraffe reach down to nibble some seaweed? Would the octopus's eyes open wide to see the giraffe's lips so close? Perhaps the octopus would end up going for a slow ride with the giraffe at sunset, and while doing so would adopt the same pattern of spots?

This reminds me of some wonderful audio recordings that I loved to listen to a long time ago. Have you heard Bobby McFerrin and Jack Nicholson telling Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant's Child (or How The Rhino Got His Skin & How the Camel Got His Hump)? Worth tracking down.

:) Jackie

Anonymous said...

Jackie, Thank you for joining me on my mental journey. Yes! A slow ride into the sunset would have to be the end. We need to find an illustrator!

I have not heard these recordings, but am going to find them now. Would love to play them for Rob and Leven. A fun and cozy activity for the rainy PNW winter nights! And I really love Bobby McFerrin. He was my Grandmother's favorite!

:) AH