Story at a glance:
- A Florida boater caught a red blanket octopus on camera.
- Blanket octopuses are occasionally spotted deep in the sea.
- Female blanket octopuses are the only ones to have the blanket features.
A Florida boater caught a red blanket octopus, a rare species of octopus that has a sheet-like appearance between each of its tentacles, on camera.
The red blanket octopus, USA Today reported, was floating around a man’s parked boat.
No information was provided about when or where exactly the video was taken, but blanket octopuses are occasionally spotted deep in the sea in tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific, Indo-Pacific and Atlantic oceans, according to Animal Hype.
The video features a female octopus because only female blanket octopus have the blanket features. Male blanket octopuses do not have blankets and are 1.5 inches, while females grow up to 6 feet.
Like all octopuses, the male blanket octopus has a special appendage on one of its eight legs that acts like a penis and releases sperm. Regardless of size, the much smaller octopus is still able to mate with the female octopus.
Blanket octopuses tend to eat small fishes, and their predators include big fishes and whales.
The species is rarely seen because it usually lives in the open ocean rather than on the seafloor, making them harder to find alive, Octolab.TV reported.
Marine biologists have come across dead blanket octopuses picked up in fishing traps and trolling nets, but Octolab notes there is not much known about the deep sea animal and that spotting a living one in the wild is a “special treat.”
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