Celebrating the Cephalopod

Last week was Cephalopod Awareness Week! While I missed the memo, I believe anytime is a great time to appreciate and marvel at the amazing cephalopod, especially the octopus. I remember first being so amazed with the octopus after watching this short TED talk:

In my philosophy class we also discussed octopuses and their amazing intelligence. They were recently discovered using coconut halves as shields and shelters, making them members of the small group of animals that use tools, and making them the only invertebrate member of the group.

An octopus using two coconut shells as a shield. Photo via Massimo Capodicasa.
An octopus using two coconut halves as a shield. Image via Massimo Capodicasa.

It is important to note, however, that the octopus is in great danger. Ocean acidification from CO2 emissions threatens the octopus food source, and overfishing of octopuses is hurting their individual and population sizes.

Ocean acidification. Image via SeattleMag.
Ocean acidification. Image via SeattleMag.

So, next time you decide whether to drive, carpool, or take public transportation, or next time you decide to toss or recycle, remember the amazing octopus, and consider how your actions affect them.

Sources:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/octopus-chronicles/2013/06/08/8-awesome-octopus-facts-for-world-oceans-day/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/12/091214-octopus-carries-coconuts-coconut-carrying/

http://seattlemag.com/article/ocean-acidification-global-warmings-doppelg-nger

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