Octopods can live in a wide range of habitats because they can tolerate temperatures from -1.8°C to over 30°C. New research shows that this ability comes from their blood.
Octopods have blue blood; that color comes from the blood pigment haemocyanin which is responsible for transporting oxygen. Researchers studied the properties of haemocyanin in Antarctic, temperate and warm-adapted octopods and found that it is genetically different in colder waters.
In the Antarctic octopod Pareledone charcoti, the haemocyanin is genetically and functionally different which is why it can still transport oxygen at sub-zero temperatures.
And if the octopus’s cool blue blood isn’t enough to make it your new favorite ocean creature, check out this amazing video footage of an octopus that can use tools. That’s right — the veined octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) uses coconut shells as a tool to hide from predators. These are actually the first invertebrates to be seen using tools.
To learn more:
- Read the news release: Octopus’ blue blood allows them to rule the waves!
- Check out this post about their use of tools: “Bizarre” Octopuses Carry Coconuts as Instant Shelters
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.