Tremoctopus in action

Jan 15, 2006

Amazing blanket octopus video. From Deep Sea News:
This video of a swimming Tremoctopus or “blanket octopus” was shot in the Gulf of Mexico in 180 feet of water at Eugene Island South Addition Block 330 in October, 2008. The location is 100 miles from the Flower Garden Banks, close to Sweet Bank, on the outer continental shelf west of Mississippi Canyon. The video appears to be from an industrial ROV performing inspections on an oil rig.

The footage is real, but the species is unknown. The genus is characterized by extreme sexual dimorphism. Males are ~100 times smaller than females. A similar animal washed up on the beach near Miami, FL last Friday, apparently, and another in 1964, according to NOAA Fisheries Biologist Heather Balchowsky.
I noticed something falling off the Tremoc and wasn't sure if it was a piece of it's membrane or if it was ink. I really thought it was ink but it seemed kind of far from it's mantle, plus it had some color in it. I thought it was kind of neat how it shape shifted size at the end of the video. I really like this ceph. Really pretty movements, almost heavenly.
It detached one distal arm+"blanket", after flashing its chromatophores to ward off the camera man, definitely a last ditch effort at escaping presumed imminent predation. Normally the "blanket" is folded up within the arms, it causes way too much drag if always fully extended. It is also nice to notice the many ocelli (eye spots) within the tiger striping on the blanket, making it fairly certain that this is (once more) T. violaceus.

I was kind of hoping for it to show us its schnorzle, of unknown phylum fame :wink2:
So the males must be really tiny. Tough life for the females to find a mate so tiny in the dark ocean.

Or maybe the males do all the searching and the females don't even know their eggs have been fertilized?

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