Showing posts with label Cephalopods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cephalopods. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Glass Squid

We just learned about the Parapuzosia.

Another type of cephalopod is the Glass Squid, also known as the cockatoo squid, cranch squid, cranchiid or bathyscaphoid squid.

This type of squid lives in the ocean near the surface or in the middle of the water all over the world.
They are from about 4 inches long to almost 10 feet long.

They get their name because they are almost totally see through, almost like a floating piece of glass!
Because they are so clear, these squids can hide out so that their prey can not see them coming, and their predators can not come eat them.

(from: wikipedia - cranchiidae)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: African Clawed Frog

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


We just learned about the Giant Cuttlefish.

Another type of cephalopod is the Parapuzosia.

This animal is extinct now, but it was part of the ammonite family, which look a lot like the shelled nautilus, but are actually their own family in the world of animals.

These Parapuzosias would grow to be around 2 feet wide, but one person found pieces of an old shell showing one that was over 8 feet tall!

(from: wikipedia - parapuzosia seppenradensis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tomato Frog

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Giant Cuttlefish

We just learned about the Mimic Octopus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Giant Cuttlefish.

This is the largest cuttlefish in the world, and they live around the southern part of Australia.

They are very colorful and can chcange their whole body to white, red or yellow, and very bright or very dark to try and either get the attention of other cuttlefish, or to confuse the animals they are hunting.

They also can raise up little bumps on their skin to make themselves look either bumpy or smooth, so they can look like rocks, sand or seaweed.

The giant cuttlefish is so popular in Australia, that for a festival someone made a 42 foot long parade float shaped like a cuttlefish, named "Stobie the Disco Cuttlefish" that could move its arms, blink its eyes, and had flashing lights and dance music.

(from: wikipedia - sepia apama)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Waxy Monkey Tree Frog

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mimic Octopus

We just learned about the Vampire Squid.

Another type of cephalopod is the Mimic Octopus.

This octopus lives on the sea floor, and tries to look like other animals.
It can change it's body color, puff it's head up, wave its arms around or hold its body in a certain way to look like other animals.

Sometimes it will try and look like it's prey like a crab, so that it can sneak up on the crab and eat it before the crab even figures out there is a dangerous octopus nearby.

Other times it will try and look like a poisonous animal like a lionfish, so that predators that might attack the octopus will stay away and not try to eat it.

Theses octopuses have been seen trying to look like a lion fish, sea snake, flat fish, jelly fish, crab or even a sponge!

They are very smart animals, and will decide which animal to try and look like depending on which other animal they meet.
These smart cephalopods have been seen looking like up to 15 different animals!

(from: wikipedia - mimic octopus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Pouched Frog

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Vampire Squid

We just learned about the Red Cuttlefish.

Another type of cephalopod is the Vampire Squid.

This type of squid lives in the cold deep part of the ocean, over 2,000 feet below the sea.
It is very cold and dark at this part of the ocean, and there is not a lot of oxygen or food to eat.

Even though they are called the vampire squid, they do not drink blood of other animals.
They eat waste that is floating in the water.

These vampire squids are also kind of like an octopus, so they are their own type of squid and octopus cephalopod called "Vampyromorphida".

Just like the cirroteuthis octopus that looks like it is wearing a skirt, these cephalopods have their arms all webbed together.
Inside their webbed area their arms all have little poky looking spikes called cirri on them.
They are not sharp, and the vampire squid uses them to help collect the garbage food that is floating around in the water.

If they get scared, they can light up their body with photophores that make them glow.
Mostly just at the tips of their arms and the top of their head, but their whole body can make light.
They can also spit out some glowing goo, and sometimes they flip their webbed skirt area inside out and wrap it around their head to try and scare off someone who is trying to eat them.

These cephalopods can have black skin with a red eye, or red skin with a blue eye, so you can see why someone thought they looked like a scary vampire squid!
But mostly they are just a harmless animal floating deep in the ocean eating garbage and trying not to get eaten by a bigger animal.

(from: wikipedia - vampire squid)

(from: youtube - What the vampire squid really eats | Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Gray Tree Frog

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Red Cuttlefish

We just learned about the Lituites Nautilus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Red Cuttlefish, also called the Reaper Cuttlefish or sepia mestus.

This type of cuttlefish lives in the southern pacific area, and is seen a lot by divers in Australia, hiding out and waiting for prey to come by.

Just like other cuttlefish it has the ability to change to different colors, but for some reason this type of cuttlefish's favorite color is red!

(from: wikipedia - sepia mestus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: American Bullfrog

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Lituites Nautilus

We just learned about the Argonaut Octopus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Lituites Nautilus.

This is an extinct type of nautilus from long ago that we know about because of fossils found in the ocean.

Just like the Chambered Nautilus it has a coiled body like a type of snail shell, but then it straightens out at the end like the ancient Orthoceras Nautilus we learned about.

(from: wikipedia - lituites)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Poison Dart Frogs

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Argonaut Octopus

We just learned about the Bigfin Reef Squid.

Another type of cephalopod is the Argonaut Octopus.

These octopuses are sometimes called a "paper nautilus" because the female argonaut will make a hard shell to lay their eggs in, and they will have part of their body in this shell, curled up and looking like a nautilus.

They lay their eggs in the shell, and then sometimes even after the eggs hatch they keep the shell and live in it.

The male argonaut does not have a shell. Both the males and females have eight arms just like all other octopuses.

(from: wikipedia - argonaut (animal))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mimic Poison Frog & Splash-back poison frog

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bigfin Reef Squid

We just learned about the Flamboyant Cuttlefish.

Another type of cephalopod is the Bigfin Reef Squid.

These squids get their name from the big fin on their mantle that goes all the way around it.
With their shape and the way they swim, sometimes people think they are cuttlefish.

They grow to around 13 inches in just a few months, and they only live for less than a year.

Their body has a lot of different colors, and can be white, yellow, pink, brown or purple.
Sometimes when light is shined on them their body will reflect white, green or red, but they do not glow in the dark like some other cephalopods.

Because these squids grow very fast, there are people out there who try to have squid farms in the ocean, almost like cows, chicken or pigs.

(from: wikipedia - bigfin reef squid)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Golden Poison Frog

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Flamboyant Cuttlefish

We just learned about the Orthoceras.

Another type of cephalopod is the Flamboyant Cuttlefish, also known as Metasepia pfefferi.

These cuttlefish are very small, only about 3 inches long.
They are very brightly colored, and also just as poisonous as the blue ringed octopus!
Like other cuttlefish it has a cuttlebone inside its body that it uses to help it swim, but its cuttlebone is very small, so it mostly just walks around on the bottom of the sea.

It is usually a dark brown color, but when it is attacked it changes its colors to patterns of black, dark brown, white, red and yellow.
When it is walking along the sea floor it waves around its red tipped upper arms to try and tell predators that it is poisonous.

(from: wikipedia - metasepia pfefferi)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Common Suriname Toad

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Orthoceras Nautilus

We just learned about the Firefly Squid that can light itself up.

Another cephalopod is the Orthoceras.

This is a type of nautilus that is extinct, which means they aren't around anymore.
We only know they existed because people have found fossils from a long time ago.

They are a type of nautilus, but very different because their body is shaped like a long cone.

(from: wikipedia - orthoceras)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Red Eyed Tree Frog

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cirroteuthis Octopus

We just learned about the Grimpoteuthis - Dumbo Octopus.

Another type of cephalopod is Cirroteuthis.

This is an octopus that has webbing in between its arms holding them together.
It almost looks like an octopus wearing a dress!

It can grow to be almost five feet long, and is usually white or purple.
Just like the dumbo octopus, this octopus has fins on its head that it can flap.

They live in the deep sea in cold water, like the Arctic ocean or the south pacific near Antarctica.
Scientists have not been able to find a lot of these, because they live over 6,000 feet deep in the ocean, where there is almost no light.

(from: wikipedia - cirroteuthis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Paedophryne Amauensis

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Grimpoteuthis - Dumbo Octopus

We just learned about the Blue Ringed Octopus.

Another cephalopod is the Grimpoteuthis, also known as the "Dumbo Octopus".

This octopus has fins on the side of it's head that look almost like ears, and it flaps these fins almost like dumbo the elephant flapping its ears to fly.
They swim along the ocean floor floating along, and then they jump on their prey and swallow it whole.

(from: wikipedia - grimpoteuthis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mountain Chicken Frog

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Blue Ringed Octopus

We just learned about the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.

Another type of cephalopod is the Blue Ringed Octopus.

This type of octopus is very small, only about 4 to 8 inches wide even including its arms.
Their body is yellow, with glowing blue circles on it.

This is nature's way of warning everyone to stay back because they are very poisonous, and deadly to humans!
If they bite a person, they have a type of neurotoxin poison that attacks the nerves in the body and make it so they can't move any muscles.

(from: wikipedia - blue ringed octopus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Purple Frog

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

We just learned about the Coconut Octopus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.

This squid has a special type of bacteria that lives in its body that helps it glow a little, and also helps it change colors to match other things around it.

When it wants to hide, it buries its whole body under the sand, leaving just its eyes uncovered.

(from: wikipedia - euprymna scolopes)

(from: wikipedia - euprymna scolopes)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Darwin's Frog

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Coconut Octopus

We just learned about the European Squid.

Another type of cephalopod is the Coconut Octopus, also known as the veined octopus or amphioctopus marginatus.

This type of octopus lives mostly on the bottom of the water, and walks along in the sand.
It gets the name of coconut octopus, because it has been seen carrying empty coconut shells while it walks, and then when it wants to hide it climbs into the shell and closes it up.
Sometimes it will carry shells instead of coconuts and hide out in them, either hiding from predators or hiding so they can attack their prey.

Scientists also think that when it walks it looks like a coconut shell bouncing along the ocean floor.

(from: wikipedia - amphioctopus marginatus)

Coconut-carrying octopus stuns scientists - AFP news agency

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Common Midwife Toad

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


We just learned about the Chambered Nautilus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Cuttlefish.

Cuttlefish have eight arms like an octopus, but they also have two tentacles that have sharp edges like teeth they use to hook onto their prey, or sting with venom.

They have very different eyes that are in a W shape, that lets them see in front and behind at the same time.
Cuttlefish have green and blue blood instead of red, and they have three hearts!

There is a bone in the middle of the cuttlefish's body called the cuttlebone that is made of aragonite.
This is like a hollow crystaline type of bone that they use to push air or liquid into, so they can float or sink.
Just like some other cephalopods, cuttlefish have ink they can squirt out when they are scared.
This ink was so dark that it was used for painting or in food, and the science name of Cuttle fish is "Sepiida" which is where we get the color name "sepia" from.

Cuttlefish are also sometimes called chameleons of the sea, because they can change their color to look darker, lighter or even change color to disguise themselves.

(from: wikipedia - cuttlefish)

(from: wikipedia - cuttlefish)

(from: wikipedia - cuttlefish)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Edible Frog

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Chambered Nautilus

We just learned about the Common Octopus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Chambered Nautilus.

These cephalopods look sort of like snails, and they live in shells like a snail.
Inside their shells are chambers in a spiral shape where their body parts are squished into.

The top of their outside shell is dark on top and light on the bottom.
This helps them hide from predators, because looking down from above they blend in with the dark sea, and looking up from below they blend in with the sky above.

The nautilus grows from an egg, but they don't grow as a larvae like a lot of other cephalopods. They grow right from the start with a tiny shell, and the shell grows with them inside the egg until they hatch, about 1 inch long.

It is a meat eater, and it eats shellfish, but also eats garbage food floating around in the water or on the bottom of the sea.

They float up and down by changing how much water is in their shell.
If they want to go down, they suck in more water, and if they want to go up they spit some out.
You can think of it like a boat, that fills up with water and sinks, or empties the water and floats.

(from: wikipedia - chambered nautilus)

(from: wikipedia - chambered nautilus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Panamanian Golden Frog

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Common Octopus

Let's learn about some cephalopods!.

One of the most famous ones is the Common Octopus.

Some funny things about the octopus are that while a lot of people say "octopi" for a group of them, the right word is actually "octopuses".

Also, people say that an octopus has tentacles, but they actually have arms.
The difference is that arms have suction cups all along them, and tentacles only have suction cups at the end.

There are about 300 different types of octopuses in the world!

These cephalopods can change color to hide, and they use their arms to grab their prey and use their beak to crack open any shells for animals they have to eat.

(from: wikipedia - octopus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: European Fire Bellied Toad

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


We've learned a whole lot about frogs, now let's learn about Cephalopods!

There are over 800 different kinds of cephalopods living in the world, and around 11,000 kinds of cephalopods that have gone extinct and are no longer around.

Some cephalopods are really famous, like the octopus or squid, but some you may not have heard of like ammonoids or nautilus.

The super science name for an animal is split up into these parts: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, and sometimes Subclass.
Sometimes there are even more parts like Suborder, Infraorder, Family, Genus or Species.
Humans are:
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Primates, Suborder: Haplorhini, Infraorder: Simiiformes, Family: Hominidae, Genus: Homo, Species: H. sapiens

Scientists use these words to come up with special names for every single animal on the planet from mice to elephants.

Cephalopods are:
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Mollusca, Class: Cephalopoda

The "phylum: Mollusca" actually means that an animal like an octopus is sort of related to a snail!

There are lots of different types of cephalopods, we'll learn about some fun ones next time!

(from: wikipedia - cephalopod)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Frogs and Toads