Friday, June 18, 2010
June 18, 2010 : Blanket Octopus
The blanket octopuses, four species of octopus in the Tremoctopus genus, are found in the waters of Australia's Northern Coast.
The species has evolved an unusual defense mechanism: blanket octopuses are immune to the poisonous Portuguese man o' war, whose tentacles the male and immature females rip off and use for defensive purposes. Also, unlike many other octopuses, the blanket octopus does not use ink to intimidate potential predators, but instead unfurls a large net-like membrane which then spreads out and billows in the water like a cape. This greatly increases the octopus's apparent size, and is what gives the animal its name.