Disguising the Tentacles

Behold the mighty octopus

What has eight legs and is smarter than your average reality television star? If you guessed the octopus, the most popular of the cephalopods, you get the prize. The tentacled undersea creature has long held the fascination of scientists, and for Dr. Roger Hanlon, the attraction began in his late teenage years when he explored coral reefs in Panama. “I swam over a little shallow tide pool, and suddenly water was jetted onto my belly and I practically shot out of the water. This little one-pound octopus scared the daylights out of a 190-pound college guy. It came out of its hole and moved across the reef with the most amazing camouflage. I was completely blown away,” he recalls. The ability to disguise itself is one of the octopus’s most fascinating displays of intelligence, and it is the topic of Hanlon’s free lecture at the University of Miami Rosensteil School of Marine & Atmospheric Science (RASMAS) campus. Discover Nature’s Greatest Color Change Artist: The Octopus.
Wed., Feb. 21, 6:15 p.m.

 
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