Oceanic Oddities

Amazing Kissing Octopus

The fact is that few of us ever stop to consider just how octopuses have sex, but the startling fact is that in fact, the majority of females give in to the temptation to actually eat their partners during the act. In the case of the Larger Pacific Striped Octopuses, mating is achieved by the pressing together of beaks and suckers, in an intimate embrace which could very easily be mistaken for a kiss by more fanciful observers.

Currently occupying a tank that is being displayed at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, this amazing adaptable beast has the ability to alter colour, just like a Chameleon might, varying between dark red to black-and-white stripes and spots. Not only that, but these creatures are also imbued with the astonishing ability to shape-shift dramatically, fitting into the tightest of spots. Is it any wonder that, where these remarkable animals are concerned, marine biologists are thrilled by the?

The marine biologists of the planet have long been well aware of the myriad ways in Octopuses are able to disguise themselves, and marvel at the ingenuity of, foe instance, the Atlantic long-arm octopus, which disguises itself as a flounder, while the aptly named mimic octopus can impersonate a whole range of other marine creatures.

It is possibly just as well that the long ignored Larger Pacific Striped Octopus, first discovered in 1991, is being more carefully studied now. As things stand, this relatively new species has no proper name as yet, but is unusual in that, unlike other octopi species, the females survive many years to lay several clutches of eggs, while the others die after laying. Thought to live an fairly big groups of forty or more, as yet researchers still do not know very much about them, so research into these fascinating animals is ongoing.

Highly Unusual Fish Caught in Swedish Waters

Images via – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacu

Hungry Monster?

Hungry Monster?

Recently, a Swedish fisherman, plying his hobby in the Oresund Sound, hooked a 21 cm Pacu, which amazed him, as this fish is a freshwater relative of the piranha and most commonly found in the Amazon region, where fishermen have, it is rumoured, bled to death after losing testicles to the  crushing jaws of this fearsome predator.

Most commonly located in most rivers in South America’s Amazon and Orinoco basins, these monsters can grow up to 90 cm long, weighing as much as 25 kilos, and nicknamed the ball cutter for infamously attacking male genitals. Examples have been found in Papua New Guinea and several U.S. States, yet this is the first time a pacu has been caught at sea in Europe.

Though not considered normally dangerous to people, Pacus do boast a savage bite, and various reported incidences of men having had their testicles bitten off led Swedish authorities to issue a warning to male bathers about keeping well covered up when swimming in the Oresund Sound.

The Pacu mouth is big, as it normally eats nuts, fruit, and small fish, but human testicles make a nice size target, and these creatures are  almost identical to the piranha, but flatter and stronger crushing teeth.  The fact that one of these monsters has been caught in the ocean could be an isolated incident, but then again……….?

Not to be messed with?

Not to be messed with?

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One Response

  1. Tony H Leather

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