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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Summer!

Since it's that special time of year when we bust out the beach blankets and lay by the shores of octopusland, I thought we could celebrate with some good n' proper octopus-inspired beach attire. Check out this snazzy two-piece octopus-covered swimsuit from

Octopus Bikini Description
Sometimes you just gotta swim in the public pool. Sure, there's a million little kids, and the really fat lady is taking up the last two beach chairs, but it's hot out and you've gotta cool off somehow! Longline bra style top(with adjustable bra straps), and a highwaisted skirt bottom(with attached panty). Black waistband, bow, ruffle hem, and faux pocket detail. Sublimation Printing: Due to the special printing process used to make our one-of-a-kind swimsuits, tiny pinprick black dots may appear in lighter colored areas. This should in no way ruin the design or inhibit you ability to look totally kick-ass in our swimsuits.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

What Does the Octopus Tell us About Climate Change?

Originally posted June 12, 2012
Written by Deb Anderson

Octopuses help us understand our world - past, present, and future - yet another reason to love these fascinating cephalopods! Check out this interesting interview with geneticist, Jan Strugnell, to learn what the octopus can tell us about the planet.

AN ANTARCTIC octopus has given scientists a clue to the risk of catastrophic sea-level rise if world temperatures keep climbing. La Trobe University geneticist Jan Strugnell and an international team analysed the genes of the Turquet's octopus, which lives in the Southern Ocean, as part of the first Census of Antarctic Marine Life (a 10-year project involving about 2700 experts from 82 nations). Dr Strugnell says scientists now have the largest sample sizes ever collected from Antarctica and this finding shows their climate concerns could be justified.

What led you to study the genes of a relatively sedentary Antarctic octopus?

We were interested in investigating patterns of connectivity around Antarctica in a marine species and we wanted to try to get a picture of what the past environment was like. We wanted to see what factors have influenced the evolution of this species and if the octopus contained genetic signatures of the past environmental conditions.

Why this creature — what makes it so special?

The Turquet's octopus is an ideal choice as it presents in large populations and is found all around the Southern Ocean. This octopus also lays relatively few, large eggs — between 22 and 60 eggs, each about 20 millimetres long — and they hatch into little octopus that live on the sea floor close to their parents, ie, they don't have a planktonic larval phase like most octopus.

And this has implications for genetic research?

This means there isn't as much genetic mixing between populations as there is in a species with a planktonic phase, so each population can develop different signatures across generations if they have been separated for a long time.

Your work must involve incredible fieldwork?

Yes. I've been lucky enough to travel to the Southern Ocean twice to catch octopus — once to locations around the Antarctic Peninsula and a second time to the Amundsen Sea [in western Antarctica]. The trips are for a few months at a time. The scenery is very beautiful and the ice is surprisingly colourful.

How on earth do you keep warm?

Life on research ships is very comfortable and warm inside. Working on the deck can get pretty cold, though — and you definitely need multiple pairs of gloves to stop your fingers freezing.

This research was part of a census?

Yes. The Census of Antarctic Marine Life and the International Polar Year really facilitated sharing samples between different countries and organisations, which made this study possible.

And this study, how did you do it?

We sampled 450 individuals of Turquet's octopus from locations all around the Southern Ocean. I genotyped 10 microsatellite loci — fast-evolving population genetic markers, and I also sequenced cytochrome oxidase I — the "barcoding gene" — from each of these octopus. We used this data to look for similarities and differences in the genetic signatures of octopus sampled from populations around the Southern Ocean.

What did you discover?

We expected we would find a marked difference between octopus populations separated by large distances. However, the genetic signatures of populations in the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea — on opposite sides of Antarctica, separated by about 10,000 kilometres — are startlingly similar.

Can you explain the significance of that?

This is an interesting finding because it supports some climate models that suggest sometime during the last 1.1 million years there has been a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. This would have raised the global sea level by 3.3 metres to five metres, and created a seaway across West Antarctica between the Ross and Weddell seas, potentially allowing exchange of animals between these seaways. The genetic similarity we see in octopus from the Ross and Weddell seaways supports this idea of a historic seaway.

What does this tell us about the years ahead?

This has implications for the future as some scenarios of future climate change predict such a collapse during the next two centuries, which would again open this seaway and permit genetic exchange between these regions.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Fiona Apple Wears Octopus Hat in New Video

Check out the tentacle spectacle in Fiona Apple's video for her new single, "Every Single Night".

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Outstanding Octopus Pumps from

One of the toughest items for me to track down is octopus shoes, especially cute ones. Luckily is looking out for us cephalophiles and has recently added these outstanding octopus pumps to their ever-expanding collection of octopus goodies.

Outstanding Octopus Pumps Product Description

These unique high heels feature 4.75" heels (3.25" if you exclude the 1.5" platform sole), and a black velveteen body with a red octopus embroidered across the entire shoe including the heel! They say it's not nice to walk all over your friends, but these little guys are happy to get stepped on all day long ♥

*Fit Runs Slightly Big
* Medium Width
* Non-Leather Upper
* Vegan Friendly

Monday, June 4, 2012

128 Million-Year-Old Fossil Ancestor of Squids & Octopus Found

Originally from

LONDON: Scientists have unearthed the fossils of a 128-million-year-old spiky creature which they say could be the oldest ancestor of the modern-day squid and octopus. Using 3D scanning technology , a team from the Austria National History Museum unearthed the fossil of the creature, called Dissimilites intermedius, a layer at a time, and then created a video of how the creature lived and moved.

The ammonite was discovered in sediment which formed at the bottom of the ocean during the Cretaceous period some 128 million years ago, but now lies at the top of the Dolomite mountains in the Alps.

The scientists said that the computer tomography had allowed them to see far more than they would ever have been able to with the naked eyewith the creature exposed a layer at a time. The team, led by Alexander Lukeneder , also discovered that the body was covered with spines each between three and 4mm long. "Computer tomography and a 3D reconstruction programme were used to help reconstruct not only the appearance of the fossil, but also to work out how it moved." The spokesman added that prehistoric Tethys Ocean, which existed between the continents of Gondwana and Laurasiam, had left behind millions of years-worth of sediment at the bottom of the sea.

Gondwana would break up to form much of the southern hemisphere, and Laurasia would form much of the northern hemisphere. As the centuries passed and the Alps folded out of the sea, some of the former sea-bottom sediment ended up on the peaks of the Dolomites. And it was here that a section of the former seabed was discovered - with the thickest density of fossils.


Check out for pictures.