Thursday, February 5, 2009

Life Photo Meme: Honor an invert... the coolest invert!

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Cephalopoda

Order: Octopoda

Family: Opisthoteuthidae

This lovely fellow is the flapjack octopus or Opisthoteuthis californiana. Normally deep water creatures, this guy was caught ~1,000 ft (~333 m) from the surface off the coast of California. He possesses very large eyes, which help him find food using the barest glimmer of light that reaches those depths. There really is not much known about their diet, lifestyle, or even distribution (although they've caught them off of California and Japan).

They think that these guys are benthic, but they do have two very distinct swimming modes. The first is pretty common to all octopuses and squids; jet propulsion. They can squirt out a stream of water from their mantle which pushes them head first through the water. The second swimming mode is less common among octopuses. They can use the flaps attached to their heads as fins to swim.

Enjoy this video our flapjack friend swimming about...

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