1. Artor says

    So what are those huge membranes for? Does it hang out at the surface and bask in sunlight? Does it use them to entangle prey? They seem like they would be very fragile, but maybe that’s an illusion.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    They should follow the example of some worms and ingest mitochondria from algae, those mantles would be good sunlight collectors.
    -As cephalopods are short-lived, we need to cross-breed them (using CRISPR) with rockfish. Some of the ugly things can live for 200 years.
    (lightbulb moment)
    Is there any way to insert DNA in humans? I want to change color like and octopus AND live two centuries.

  3. says

    Why do they need a function? Can’t they just be stylish?

    It’s hypothesized that the large membranes are there to make the animal look bigger, as part of a threat display. I don’t know that I believe it, but OK, it’s an idea. Now test it with observation/experiment.

  4. azpaul3 says

    Test with observation/experiment indeed, but more important is to appreciate the beauty of the beast. I would imagine seeing one of those blankets up close in the wild would be quite striking.

  5. Walter Solomon says

    Could it be a case of sexual selection like a peacock’s tail or do both sexes exhibit this stylish James Brownesque cape?

  6. says

    One of the unusual things about Tremoctopus is the extreme sexual dimorphism. Males are, at best, 2cm long; females are about 2 meters long. I don’t know that you need a special signal if you’re trying to mate with something 100 times longer and 10,000 times heavier than you are.

  7. brightmoon says

    James Brownesque , what a lovely adjective! Remembering James and those long satin capes I’d say yeah!