Going deep for octopods
Going deep for octopods Zoologist Dr. Mike Vecchione holding a dumbo octopod (Cirrothauma magna) that was found in the deep sea. (Amy Heger/NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016)
Going deep for octopods
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Most familiar "octopods" (general term for octopuses and their close relatives) live in relatively shallow parts of the ocean. They are predators. They can benefit from the abundant food, such as fishes, crabs, and shrimps, in habitats such as shallow coral reefs.
 
Most octopods are nocturnal. They hunker in dens during the daytime. At night, they cruise the ocean bottom in search of prey.
 
Octopods belong to a group of squishy-bodied animals called cephalopods. These also include squids, cuttlefishes and nautiluses. Like most other cephalopods, octopods have eight arms with suckers. They have hard beaks for biting prey. Their large eyes provide good vision. They have remarkable capabilities to change color and shape quickly. These make them masters of camouflage. Their unusual intelligence sets them apart from other invertebrates.
 
Are more octopods known from shallow water because it's better habitat or because they are easier to find? The deep ocean is challenging to access. Therefore, it has been less studied.
 
Today, innovations in technology have allowed scientists to explore the depths. Research ships are equipped with sonar. Meanwhile, ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) and manned submersibles are equipped with cameras and sampling devices on robotic arms.
 
Even people on shore can get their eyes on the deep sea. This is thanks to live video and data feeds to computers.
 
Increased access to the depths has shed new light on mysteries of deep ocean life, including on octopods who range more than 4,000 meters down. That is the depth of about 300 school buses end on end.
 
Why would octopods go that deep and how do they survive? By continuing to probe the deep sea, zoologists are trying to understand more about which animals live there and how they get by in conditions of high pressure and low light and temperature.
 
Zoologist Mike Vecchione harnesses data collected from museum specimens, live ship feeds and DNA analysis to study deep sea octopods and other cephalopods.
 
Learn more about his discoveries in the "Smithsonian Science How" webcast. It airs on Thursday, June 8, 2017. During Deep Ocean Discovery - Octopods and Squids, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT on the Q?rius website, Mike will take you on a journey to the deep sea while answering your questions live. You can also get teaching resources to use with the webcast.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/going-deep-octopods/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How do robots help scientists study octopods?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (27)
  • Franklinm-eic
    9/01/2017 - 01:54 p.m.

    Octopus are really important so if they go then I go with them to .

  • AEGARR01
    9/08/2017 - 08:32 a.m.

    This article is cool because it explains a lot about not only octopods, but how they study them, and where they can be found. These ROVs and manned submersibles have cameras and sample collectors on a robotic arm to take a glimpse and, maybe, bring it up to the surface.

  • DCCARR01
    9/08/2017 - 08:41 a.m.

    I have learned so much about this article about octopods and how they study them with submarines that have robotic arms.

  • Rileyc-eic
    9/13/2017 - 09:54 a.m.

    I think that octopods are really cool and how they are found lot. I think that the scientists can make a submarine to go to the deep ocean to try to find octopods.

  • Makais-eic
    9/13/2017 - 10:03 a.m.

    i think it's cool to know we have technology in our world.

  • Guillermof-dav
    9/18/2017 - 01:46 p.m.


    In response to "Going Deep for the Octopods," I think that robots are helping scientist study octopod. One reason I agree is octopods have many secrets we do not yet understand, and if we understood how these creatures survived in great depths and how they can change form and color. This makes it a very important we study them, and thanks to robots we can do it safely. It says in the ROVs or remotely controlled subs can explore the deep, while the driver is safely driving and watching the sub from the shore. One key robot that let's us also bring things up from the depths are robotic arms!

  • Ariellar-dav
    9/18/2017 - 02:50 p.m.


    In response to "Going Deep for Octopuses" I agree that it is hard to research in the deep ocean. One reason I agree because it seems so hard to get down there but I think we should try harder to explore down there. Another reason is that there is so much down there that we haven't yet discovered. It says in the article even people on shore can get their eyes on the deep sea.Even though we have tried really hard to discover the whole ocean, I think we haven't given it our best their is still way more things we can do.

  • Torim-dav
    9/25/2017 - 10:46 a.m.

    How do robots help scientists study octopods? Innovations in technology today have allowed scientists to explore the depths. ROVs and manned submersibles are equipped with cameras and sampling devices on robotic arms.

  • Jacob-bla3
    10/19/2017 - 07:41 p.m.

    Robots help scientists study octopods by being able to go deeper in the ocean to study the octopods. People can not withstand the pressure that deep in the ocean, so the remote controlled vehicles(or RCV) allow the scientists to get specimens of these creatures. These robots also allow the scientists to get footage of the octopods. These cameras on the RCVs give the scientists on shore ive footage of what is happening in the depths of the ocean. This is how the robots help scientists study octopods.

  • Rhiannonc-bru
    11/03/2017 - 01:41 p.m.

    According the article "Going Deep for Octopods" They say that octopods live very shallow water during the day they live in there caves and at night they go searching for their food which is fish,shrimp,and crabs.The octopods are very good at hiding cause they are able to change shape and can change color.So robots help scientist by going to where the octopods find their food and use a light to figure out where it is for food.Robots help by finding deep sea animals and bringing it to the scientists to study.

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