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marketrent OP t1_iwdflb7 wrote


>The argonaut octopus, of the family Argonautidae, belongs to a group of pale pink-spotted octopuses. Unlike the heroes that sailed the Argo, these octopuses are known for traversing the open ocean by way of a delicate, curved, creamy white vessel—an external casing, often referred to as a “shell,” that gave them their common nickname, the “paper nautilus.”

>These creatures baffled naturalists and philosophers for two millennia, even fooling Aristotle, who believed that they used their large pair of webbed dorsal arms as “a sail” to catch the briny breeze and floated across the ocean’s surface like paper boats.

>“It uses [the thin webs], when a breeze is blowing, for a sail, and lets down some of its feelers alongside as rudder-oars,” Aristotle wrote of the paper nautilus.

>These myths carried weight for centuries, even among naturalists in the 19th century.


>It wasn’t until the early 1830s when self-taught French naturalist, Jeanne Villepreux-Power began researching the Argonauta argo, or the greater argonaut, that we learned the true origins of their “shells.”

>In the 1800s, most scientists believed that the shell was made by another animal—that argonauts lived in them the same way that a hermit crab will go find a snail shell or a mollusk shell to live in, Finn says. Once the octopus grew too large for the shell, it would abandon the shelter and either search, steal, or kill the original inhabitant for a larger shell.

>But, Jeanne Villepreux-Power sided with the opposite side of the debate: The argonauts were the builders of their cases.

Lauren J. Young, June 20, 2018


balok_fett t1_iwepkln wrote

The article says the shell is used to protect eggs, and also can help with buoyancy


CaveatRumptor t1_iwdr0i8 wrote

Sadly most of the documentation of her work was lost at sea.


The_RealAnim8me2 t1_iwgfrmi wrote

There is always a JoCo song:


CaveatRumptor t1_iwh7ad0 wrote

I suppose whales are a lot like people, some are self aware, and some are clumsy.


The_RealAnim8me2 t1_iwhrz8j wrote



CaveatRumptor t1_iwhvrcf wrote

The song to which you gave a link has a narrator who speaks in the person of a whale.


The_RealAnim8me2 t1_iwhw3ln wrote

Uhm… no. It’s a giant squid. “I got pretty nice arms, but I hate my beak”


CaveatRumptor t1_iwhwonz wrote

Could be. I thought he was going in and out of persona. He has a large nose, judging from his pic. Nonetheless it no doubt equally holds true that some cephalopods must be clumsy and some not.


The_RealAnim8me2 t1_iwhwvw6 wrote

JoCo literally explains it’s about a giant squid with self esteem issues


CaveatRumptor t1_iwhx57d wrote

Okay. This is the first time I have heard of this singer and I only heard the song once. I trust your expertise.


The_RealAnim8me2 t1_iwhxc44 wrote

Oh man! Check out his catalog. He has great stuff and most has a bit of a nerdy bent. The man has a song about the Mandelbrot set!


Sp1cyWallstr33tMemes t1_iwf25kb wrote

I totally read “arrogant octopus” at first and I was like damn, I wonder what he did to deserve the title


Rhodog1234 t1_iwfgfq5 wrote

..and a bit hands(y) I hear. A real drag at dinner parties. /s


Deago78 t1_iwfmajx wrote

Really a super interesting article about an even more interesting human.


smashkeys t1_iwgibmq wrote

Missed the chance to say "unravel its mysteries"...