mbari-blog:⁠#tfw you’re walking on clamshells. ⁠⁠Although we...

mbari-blog:⁠#tfw you’re walking on clamshells. ⁠⁠Although we…


⁠#tfw you’re walking on clamshells. ⁠

Although we often see these deep-sea octopods, we know little about many of the species that belong to the Bathypolypodinae subfamily. We typically find the species within this group walking along or swimming just above the seafloor, hunting for snails, crabs, and other small animals.⁠ ⁠

This particular octopus was captured on camera crawling across a bed of cold-seep clams, Ectenagena extenta. These clams can grow to 246 millimeters (nearly 10 inches) in shell length and are found in aggregations at cold seeps in Monterey Bay. Cold seep organisms depend on bacteria that use the sulfide from these seeps for their metabolism. Other seep organisms then use the chemical energy produced by bacterial metabolism. Since their discovery in Monterey Bay in the 1980s, many researchers have studied various environmental and ecological aspects of the Monterey seeps.

This octopus gives the phrase “cold and clammy hands” a whole new meaning! 

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