Meet the Octopus That Lives in a Cave of Its Own Mucus

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Source: Azula by MIA NAKAJI MONNIER | OCT 10, 2016

Houses come in all variety of materials: brick, wood, stucco — even mucus. That is, if you’re a sand octopus anyway.

This thin-legged species has a special way of hiding from predators. It uses its funnel to shoot water into the sand, effectively making its own quicksand so that it can burrow more quickly into the seafloor.

Once underground, the octopus continues to expel water, making a pocket in the sand where it can stay out of sight. It extends two arms above its head to make a breathing hole and lines the burrow walls with mucus to ensure they won’t cave in.

The sand octopus is the only cephalopod to burrow like this. A research team out of the University of Melbourne that studied this species believes it developed this behavior to make up for its lack of camouflage skills. The scientists also think that these octopuses may be feeding on crustaceans and worms that live in underground burrows of their own.

It seems safe to say that if you don’t mind living in a house made of mucus, you’re probably not grossed out by worms either.

Related Articles & Information: Cephalopods – Squids, Octopuses, Nautilus, and Ammonites, Facts about Octopus.

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October 24, 2016 |

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