Friday 3 July 2015

Telescope Octopus

Amphitretus pelagicus
We are all in the abyss.

But some of us are looking at the bioluminescent anglerfish.

The Telescope Octopus is a mysterious, deep sea octopus found at depths between 150 and 2,000 metres (500 - 6,500 ft) in tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific waters. They reach about 20 cm (8 in) long, a little more than half of that taken up by their arms.

The Telescope Octopus is related to another deep sea octopus known as the Glass Octopus. Like them, they're almost completely invisible! Their transparent, gelatinous flesh ensures they leave no shadow in the gloomy twilight to betray their presence to predators that may lurk below them.

There are only two body parts they can't make invisible: their digestive gland and their eyes. Their utterly bizarre eyes.

Telescope Octopuses have crazy, elongated eyes that pop out of their head because they lie on the end of movable stalks! This is the Telescope in question.

Just as the Telescope Octopus is transparent to hide from lurking predators, they themselves are lurking predators who rest on their back using their pointy eyes to seek out the shadowy form of prey in the gloom above.

With this lifestyle Telescope Octopuses need never touch the seabed. They're entirely pelagic and are usually found hundreds of metres above the sea floor. Youngsters are sometimes found at comparatively shallow depths of less than 150 metres before they descend as they get older.

I guess it takes practice to focus those 'scopes.


Esther said...

That picture makes them seem like a real laid back kinda cephalopod.

Crunchy said...

He reminds me of a cartoon character what just saw a real pretty lady. O_O

Lear's Fool said...

Crunch's right! You can almost hear the 'Sproi-oi-oi-oi-oing'

Joseph JG said...

@Esther: Haha! I guess it's a pretty sweet deal when you're invisible!

@Crunchy: Must be one of those sexy silhouettes!

@Lear's Fool: Maybe that's how they communicate in the dark?