How can an octopus be so colorful? 🐙 🌈Many cephalopods have…

How can an octopus be so colorful? 🐙 🌈

Many cephalopods have special cells in their skin tissue called chromatophores, which enable them to change color rapidly. A part of their neuromuscular system, these cells receive signals from the environment than an octopus can use to inform color change. Chromatophores can help octopodes like this one in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary blend in with their surroundings or flash a warning to predators! 

(Photo: NURC/UNCW/NOAA)

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

What better way to celebrate Cephalopod Week than with a stubby…

What better way to celebrate Cephalopod Week than with a stubby squid? 

Last year, we teamed up with Nautilus Live to explore the deep ocean in and around Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and spotted this little googly-eyed cephalopod! 

Though they look like a cross between an octopus and a squid, stubby squid are actually closely related to cuttlefish. They spend their lives on the seafloor, coating themselves in a mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment. Leaving just those big eyes peeking above the surface, they remain buried until prey items like shrimp or small fish – or a curious ROV – pass by. 

(Photo: OET/NOAA)

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

What makes octopuses so awesome?

noaasanctuaries:

noaasanctuaries:

Well, here are just a few things:

Okay, so that’s a lot of awesome right there. But what about this:

Plus, they have some pretty amazing defense mechanisms, from changing color to blend in with their surroundings (or let you know they are angry):

To squeezing themselves into impossibly tiny places. (Did we mention they have no skeleton?)

And a bonus fact: octopuses live in almost all of our national marine sanctuaries!

Reblogging in honor of Cephalopod Week!

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries