If you are following this blog you may be doing so because you love food, sustainability and learning about the wonders of the ocean. At the Ocean Wise Seafood program, we LOVE talking about the ocean and all the amazing and fascinating things that are out there to discover. Rather than a traditional book review we thought this blog would be a fantastic opportunity to explore the MANY wonderful things that Kraken, by Wendy Williams, has to offer. This blog is well-armed with fun facts on cephalopods for you to share with those you enjoy nerd-ing out with the most. We hope this list will keep you very octopied!
Blue Blood Royalty
While Humans have red blood, cephalopods actually have blue blood! This is because rather than using iron to distribute oxygen in their blood, they use copper which is better for adaptability where they live in the ocean.
Cephalopods have funnels that serve a dual purpose. They can use them to suck in and shoot out water to move around their environment rapidly and they can use them to blow away sand to find food while hunting.
Diverse and Adaptable
Cephalopods have a massive range in size. From the colossal and giant squids, which are up to 14 meters in length, to the Octopi wolfi, which is about ½ an inch in size. They are also considered to be experts in adaptability, surviving through many localized extinctions of marine life throughout history.
Some species of squid are shaped like torpedoes. This shape allows them to move in short and quick bursts through the ocean, sometimes as fast as some species of sharks, and have been measured at speeds of 25 miles per hour!
The suckers that you find on the tentacles of a cephalopod are controlled by nerves and can operate independently of each other.
Unlike humans, with our brains residing in our skulls, cephalopods brains are decentralized with 3/5th of their brain in their arms and tentacles! This means if an arm is severed from the body, it can retain its function for several hours.
We can learn a lot from squid, and their bodies can even inspire engineers to create strong materials. For example, a squids beak and sucker rings are extremely strong and sharp. Material designers use this information to help inform future designs and build new substances that are completely natural and protein based, leading to a more sustainable future.
Friends with Germs
Squid can produce light in several different ways but often use bacteria to create light for them! Bobtail squid for example hunt at night in the dark. They hunt in shallow waters in the moonlight so in order to protect themselves and avoid being something else’s prey they use bacteria to shine, and the shine helps the squid blend into the moonlight! These squid have even developed a place to house this light-producing bacteria. Scientists call it a light organ!
We hope some of these fascinating facts have inspired you to think a little bit more amount how much there is to learn about the oceans. These complex creatures continue to marvel scientists and teach us about both the natural world and how to improve our own. If you are curious to learn more about all things cephalopod, we 100% recommend you curl up with Kraken.