1. Bumdark says

    Come on, PZ, at least put a bucket under your chin when you go all ‘Homer-before-food’ … :P

  2. Mrs. Grackle says

    Didn’t they feature this fellow on that show “Evolve”? I think I saw him in the Shape episode. He is certainly a most excellent creature, but I am partial to stripes, anyway.

  3. Olowkow says

    Is this one a “septopus”? Why only 7 arms? They can mimic a sea snake, and all kinds of other creatures. Very cool.

  4. Heather says

    This has always been my FAVORITE octopus. I first saw this beauty on PBS. It is simply amazing how many different creatures it can mimic.

  5. llewelly says

    Reminds me of haliphron atlanticus. In that species, the males have a highly modified arm, used for sex, which is normally kept tucked away in a pouch. (However this specimen does not resemble haliphron atlanticus , except in having seven arms. )

  6. Brad D says

    Where’s it’s head??? It looks like some sort of mutant sea star to me.

    How would this play in the cephalopod world?
    -Tis but a scratch.
    -A scratch? Your arm’s off!
    -No, it isn’t.
    -Well, what’s that, then?
    -I’ve had worse.
    -You liar!

  7. CG says

    to BradD@14
    The head is underneath. That’s exactly what it’s trying to look like. It fools prey into coming close by looking like something innocent and then WAHPAH (that’s a bitch-smack sound) he grabs it up and eats it!

  8. mayhempix says

    Finally proof of evolution!
    This is an octopus on its way to becoming several snakes.
    I wonder why it decided to do it now?

  9. says

    Going by this picture, it actually looks to me like the arm was severed (sacrificed?). There’s a spot just to the right (clockwise) of the top arm where it appears an arm should be.

    Still, it’s a really cool picture.

  10. ehobbit says

    I stared at the “face” for too long, then when I closed my eyes it was still there in negative relief :0

  11. Lemming says

    The question, ever pressing, is what do YOU see when you leer at the enigmatic Rorshchach-topus? Depends who you are, yes. Rorshchach-topus, however, sees only moral absolutes.

    Needs a trenchcoat.

  12. says

    Is it a painting? It looks like one, which makes me wonder what the reason for only seven visible tentacles is.

    This one should be a movie, really, since they’re so cool looking like a sea serpent, or lionfish.

    I think my favorite morph is still the cuttlefish that makes itself look for all the world like a stout fish. In a way it’s less weird than what the mimic octopus looks like, but somehow the cuttlefish looking like a real fish seems so improbable.

    Glen D

  13. says

    The mimic octopus is amazing, I could never get tired of watching videos of those guys. How amazing and cool. A real blow to creationism if I’ve ever seen one.

  14. AndySin says

    I had to study this octopus for an exam question once, it’s a fantastic creature. Not only does it mimic other sea creatures such as the lionfish, sea snake and flat fish (or skate?) it knows when is the best time to do it too. For example it will mimic the poisonous sea snake when other predators are around in order to avoid them. It’s really an outstanding feat of evolution.

  15. LisaJ says

    Just amazing, beautiful. I learned about the giant squid axon in my Systems Neuroscience class this morning, and how it provides rapid neural transmission. Just thought that was fitting.

  16. SEF says

    @ 14 + 15:

    Where’s it’s head???

    The head is underneath.

    I disagree. The head and body is relatively small in this species (compared with the size of the tentacles). The head is on top in the centre, where the tentacles meet, and the body is hanging down from that (in picture terms) in the 5 to 6 o’clock position. It has slightly blacker pigment than the deep brown striping of the arms. It is also outlined by white spiny protrusions. The location of the missing arm appears to be the 2 o’clock position.

  17. Samantha Vimes says

    The eighth arm could be simply out of sight, I think; it looks like the rock has a sort of bend or crevasse there that the arm could be out of sight in, anchoring the rest of it.