It’s not all fun and games

13 Nov 2011

Despite its wide array of techniques used to avoid or thwart attackers, even an octopus can find itself beyond the line of defense. Willi took a photo of a rare sighting – an octopus’ failed attempt to escape a moray eel’s grasp.

Besides its unusual appearance by far the most striking characteristic of the octopus is their ability to hide in plain sight. Using a network of pigment cells and specialized muscles, it can almost instantaneously match the colours, patterns and even textures of its surroundings. If discovered by predators such as sharks, eels and dolphins, it will release a cloud of black ink to obscure its attacker’s view and dull its sense of smell. Their soft bodies can squeeze into impossibly small cracks, and if even that fails, an octopus can lose an arm and regrow it later.

Nevertheless, it’s not all fun and games even for the ocean’s toughest survivors.

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