Coconut octopus

coconut octo

The coconut octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, was named for its behavior of carrying around coconut shells for shelter. The octopus lacks the hard shell that other mollusks are known for, so it uses these objects as body armor to protect itself from predators. It’s also called the veined octopus because of the branching vein-like pattern on its skin. It has glowing suckers that emit light to attract and trap small prey.

Watch it “walk” with its coconut shells:

octo walks

Now watch it curl up into its portable “home”:

octo hides

Sea hares are “naked” mollusks, too. They lack an outer shell but have a small remnant of a shell inside their bodies. This is an evolutionary link; it tells us that even though sea hares lost their shells over the course of evolution, they’re still related to other mollusks.

~Adlysia

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