out of the blue

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Jul 31, 2008
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dear octopusexperts

i have been visiting this forum for a week now in search of ... well, let me explain my presence here first: i am currently doing research for a novel for kids, involving octopuses. it is going to be sheer fiction, but i do like to get facts right. And there are so many of them! not being a scientist in any way (not being a native English speaker also) I do admit i am getting lost in a maze of facts. My questions are very simple and presumably not interesting to people who know a lot. therefore i am seeking a kind knowledgeable person who can help me now and then. Anyhow, i'll be visiting this place regularly to pick up information, but it would be great to have someone in this huge aquarium to refer to in times of need.

thanks

Anna
 

cthulhu77

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We actually have a number of authors on this site, and they will always bend out of their way to help out !

Welcome!

Greg
 

monty

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:welcome: I think you can relax, we get a lot of people for whom English isn't a first language (and a lot of native speakers who seem to have even more trouble with it :tongue:) and we're very much used to questions that run the spectrum from "completely naive" to "you need a PhD to be able to understand the question well enough to say you don't know." I'm sure you'll find people happy to help you without being an imposition...
 
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thanks

i'll probably end up bothering one of you three (or all of you three) with silly questions like: (to give a taste of what is to come:smile: is it true that an octopus with more than 90 arms has once been found?
what is btw the best way to get my questions answered? Can i post them publicly? Though they are going to be silly... or can i write private messages to any of you?
 

Lime

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You can write private messages, but I believe posting them publicly is a better idea. You will get answers from the whole community.
 
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hmm, this is going to be a strange new experience...

thanks in advance for wanting to help out

already feeling a little less lost

i wasn't joking about that 90-armed octo btw...think such a species really existed?
 
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There have been a couple of octos documented with arm tips branching out of the 8 primary arms. They're not a distinct species, just a random (but fascinating) mutation.
 

monty

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octokidwriter;123535 said:
thanks

i'll probably end up bothering one of you three (or all of you three) with silly questions like: (to give a taste of what is to come:smile: is it true that an octopus with more than 90 arms has once been found?
what is btw the best way to get my questions answered? Can i post them publicly? Though they are going to be silly... or can i write private messages to any of you?

I'm with Lime on this, posting them publicly will be both more fun, and get a wider range of answers, and have a lot of eyes checking them for validity.

As far as "90-arms" go, the only living cephalopod that naturally has 90 or so arms is the Nautilus, the last of the shelled cephalopod lineage. No one really knows how many arms the ancient nautiloids and ammonoids had, but there's some suspicion that the ammonoids probably had ten arms... squids, octos, cuttles, and the weird outlier Vampyroteuthis are all based on the ten-arm pattern (octos have lost a pair, but there's some evidence that they once had them.)

There is, though, an unusual mutation of octopuses where the arms branch, see http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/2091/

(there's another pic somewhere, too.) Also, some 9-armed octo was in the news recently, but it was in a sushi restaurant in Japan IIRC, so it wasn't studied scientifically. I suspect extra arms in cephs are a somewhat common developmental effect, like cats with extra toes.
 

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