Today, Deep Sea Freak of the Week celebrates argonauts - a group of pelagic octopuses (also known as paper nautiluses).
Angry argonaut, ‘maneuevered’ by biologist Julian Finn.
Wired Science reported this week that biologists have discovered argonauts use trapped air within their shell cases to float at a comfortable depth. The discovery was apparently made after Melbourne scientist Julian Finn hassled some argonauts, causing them to flail wildly:
In the first reports from scuba observations of wild argonauts, Finn maneuvered Argonauta argo females so air escaped from their cases. The animals flailed as if struggling to maintain their orientation and quickly jetted to the water surface.
- Males grow to about the size of the eye of a full-grown female and mate by sacrificing a detachable arm specialized for one-time delivery of sperm.
- If its prey is shelled, the argonaut uses its radula to drill into the organism, then inject the poison.
- Argonauts produce ink, which is ejected when the animal is being attacked. This ink paralyzes the olfaction of the attacker, providing time for the argonaut to escape.
A fabulous piece of argonaut art from a sea freak enthusiast.