Life as We Know It
Octopuses, Dinosaurs, Pandas and More...
- By Abby Callard, T.A. Frail, Megain Gambino, Abigail Tucker, Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, February 2010
Veined octopuses hide in discarded coconut shells, scientists in Indonesia discovered. An octopus may even carry multiple shells for future use, stacking them like bowls, spreading its arms around the shells and "stilt-walking" with the shells wedged within its eight arms. Hermit crabs use seashells for shelter, but because these octopuses carry their shells for later use, they are the first invertebrates known to use tools.
Learn more about the veined octopus at the Encyclopedia of Life.
“Female giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) chirps advertise the caller’s fertile phase,” Benjamin D. Charlton et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, December 2, 2009.
“Kin recognition: Competition and cooperation in Impatiens (Balsaminaceae), Guillermo P. Murphy and Susan A. Dudley, American Journal of Botany, October 23, 2009.
“A Complete Skeleton of a Late Triassic Saurischian and the Early Evolution of Dinosaurs,” Sterling J. Nesbitt et al., Science, December 11, 2009.
“Contemporary Evolution of Reproductive Isolation and Phenotypic Divergence in Sympatry along a Migratory Divide,” Gregor Rolshausen et al., Current Biology, December 29, 2009.
“Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus,” Julian K. Finn et al., Current Biology, December 15, 2009.
Giant pandas photo gallery at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park Web site.