Pharyngula

i-cc2386ceef3261ce6bbd2f0a6dc0cc65-octopus_mototi.jpg
Octopus mototi

In case you’re baffled by the rather arty shot, here’s another image:

i-f2d43b296f3bb791f99efac8ca198601-octopus_mototi_2.jpg

Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.

Comments

  1. #1 Niobe
    March 30, 2007

    Man I want that book more and more with every update.

  2. #2 Kseniya
    March 30, 2007

    Beautiful!

    And hey, nice fake eyespot. I need one! A Guess? eyespot, of course.

  3. #3 Big Cat
    March 30, 2007

    Ummm, is that one of the species of blue ringed octupus?
    You know, the tiny killers?

  4. #4 MTran
    March 30, 2007

    Nice colors!

    I stumbled upon another lovely creature while clicking through the Getty Museum this morning.

  5. #5 llewelly
    March 30, 2007

    Beautiful! The choice weapon of the Evil Darwinist Environmentalist Conspiracy! Surely Michael Crichton is sweating and shivering with Terror!

  6. #6 zakazaneovocie
    March 30, 2007

    Do you have any explanation (I mean darwinistic explanation) of such striking colors? I would say it nicely support theory that color of animals is something independent from “survival advantage” and has more to do with self-representation (die Selbstdarstellung), creativeness of Nature. It has nothing to do with with “random mutation and natural selection” I dare say.

  7. #7 PZ Myers
    March 30, 2007

    No, the colors are associated with toxins — they warn predators that they are poisonous. It certainly does have everything to do with a survival advantage: it couples a defense that would otherwise only be effective after the animal was mauled (the toxin), with a loud warning that dissuades predators from bothering them (the coloration).

    Look up Batesian and Müllerian mimicry, too. These definitely have clear Darwinian advantages.

  8. #8 zakazaneovocie
    March 30, 2007

    I am not sure it is the case. I have had some discussion on it at EvC. Darwinists have the same explanation (aposematism) for eyspots on butterflies wings and it turns to be false:

    The presence of eyespots did not increase the escape probability of resting butterflies once captured (even a form with enlarged eyespots did not add to effective deflection of attacks).There was also no evidence that eyespots influenced the location of strikes by the predators. This study thus provides no support that marginal eyespot patterns can act as an effective deflection mechanism to avoid lizard or avian predation

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.11935.x/abs/

    Same for mushrooms. Darwinists claim that striking coloration of mushrooms may have had some aposematic meaning. And yet it have also no scietntific backgroud:


    Poisonous mushrooms do not tend to be more colorful or aggregated than edible mushrooms, but they are more likely to exhibit distinctive odors even when phylogenetic relationships are accounted for.

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/resolve?id=doi:10.1086/497399

    So darwinistic explanation of coloration via mimicry/aposematism couldn’t be claimed ad hoc without serious research. It was also opinion of professor Adolf Portmann who explained it by non-darwinistic forces (continuing in Goethian tradition).

  9. #9 zakazaneovocie
    March 30, 2007

    I am not sure it is the case. I have had some discussion on it at EvC. Darwinists have the same explanation (aposematism) for eyspots on butterflies wings and it turns to be false:

    The presence of eyespots did not increase the escape probability of resting butterflies once captured (even a form with enlarged eyespots did not add to effective deflection of attacks).There was also no evidence that eyespots influenced the location of strikes by the predators. This study thus provides no support that marginal eyespot patterns can act as an effective deflection mechanism to avoid lizard or avian predation

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.11935.x/abs/

    Same for mushrooms. Darwinists claim that striking coloration of mushrooms may have had some aposematic meaning. And yet it have also no scietntific backgroud:


    Poisonous mushrooms do not tend to be more colorful or aggregated than edible mushrooms, but they are more likely to exhibit distinctive odors even when phylogenetic relationships are accounted for.

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/resolve?id=doi:10.1086/497399

    So darwinistic explanation of coloration via mimicry/aposematism couldn’t be claimed ad hoc without serious research. It was also opinion of professor Adolf Portmann who explained it by non-darwinistic forces (continuing in Goethian tradition).

  10. #10 zakazaneovocie
    March 30, 2007

    Another problem is the perception of colors by predators. It has been shown that peppered moths resting on some kind of lichens seems to be protected for human eye – and yet it is not the case for UV perceptions like that of the birds. Moths in the case seem to be more conspicuous in UV, see:


    In human visible light the speckled form typica appeared cyptic when seen against a background of foliose lichen, whereas the dark form carbonaria was conspicuous. Under UV light the situation was reversed. The foliose lichens absorbed UV and appeared dark as did carbonaria.

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1046/j.1420-9101.2000.00170.x/full/?cookieSet=1

    The problem of perception of colors is very complicated one. We should take into consideration that Goethe’s conception of color perception seems to be proved from 1980. We (humans) are able to see color that is no way present in spectrum entering into our eyes at all!

    So all conception of evolution of animals coloration should be reconsidered as to its protective/aposematic meaning.

    There are also scientists (Frankfurter school of structuralism) who claimed that animals are unable to see mimicry.

    (Btw. I don’t doubt that evoluion is a fact, I only doubt that darwinism is valid explanation of it.)

    No wonder that to my previous post on interesting Cephalopod pictures(and what’s the reason of amazing coloration of Cephalopods) we have no reliable darwinisic response here yet.

    And perhaps that is why Mr. PZ Myers has banned me here believing to liars from ATBC that I am John Davison – surely I am not him of course.

    VMartin

  11. #11 Christian Burnham
    March 30, 2007

    V. pretty.

    Do different cephalapods of the same species have different markings (like cats)?

  12. #12 Drhoz!
    March 30, 2007

    given how easily most cephalopod can change their colour and texture, it’s difficult to say, Christian

  13. #13 Christian Burnham
    March 31, 2007

    Drhoz-
    Wait- do all cephalopods have the ability to change color?

    I’m embarrassed. I know nothing about cephalopods. I generally come here for the religion, humor and politics.

    I should do a little self-education on the web to learn exactly what a cephalopod is.

  14. #14 Drhoz!
    April 2, 2007

    Apart from the deep-sea varieties anyway, yes, they can all change their colour and texture – the chromatophore system in their skins is spectacularly versatile – each pigment patch under independant control.

    It’s only when they have preferred colours, or a limited pallet, or diffeently sized tentacles etc, that identification becames possible to the naked eye. ie, a egg-sized black cuttlefish that walks along the bottom and waves bright yellow tentacles at you if you disturb it, is probably a Flamboyant Cuttlefish. the normally brown Blue-Ringed Octopus is also distinctive, for the same reason. “Eat me and you’ll regret it – remember what I look like!”

  15. #15 antidarwinist
    April 10, 2007


    Eat me and you’ll regret it – remember what I look like

    To the most poisonous mushrooms belong Amanita phalloides -responsible for 95% of the fatalities. One cap have enough poison to kill three people.
    Anyway genus Amamita show as amazing coloration as shows mushrooms as whole. We know green, red, yellow-brown,grey-violett Amanita etc.

    Going into the forest forget first darwinistic rule of thumb, that red one should be poisonous (aposematic) and those with green-hat one should be edible (cryptic). The opposite is true – those with green hats are mentioned poisonous Amanita phalloides. Those with red hats are either Amanita regalis (using by shamans etc..) or the pink – Amanita rubescens – which is very tasty and considered by some people as the most tasty mushroom at all. But do not taste red Amanita muscaria.

    So darwinistic explanation of reason of coloration in living kingdom should be considered as only armchair excersise – do not follow rather darwinistic fancy explanation as to coloration in Nature – it can cost you a life.

    VMartin

  16. #16 Rey Fox
    April 11, 2007

    I’ll go out on a limb and propose that no one is answering because you posted late at night (in America) to a weeks-old thread that no one is reading anymore. But you go on and continue thinking that you’ve toppled “Darwinism” if it makes you feel like a big man (or toadie to a big man, whichever).

  17. #17 Kseniya
    April 12, 2007

    V-M, I read this thread last night, and it seemed to me that you’d reversed the findings of the paper you’d cited. Wasn’t the point that the speckled moths, which appeared to human eyes to be camouflaged against the foliose lichen, were in fact far more visible than their darker counterparts to the UV-sensitive eyesight of the predatory birds, which accounted for the (previously puzzling) fact that the apparently less conspicuous moths were in fact being eaten more frequently than their darker cousins?

    I started composing a comment to this effect, but I wasn’t sure if you were misunderstanding the paper, or if I was misunderstanding you. I concluded that it must have been the latter (it was very late at night, my time) so I scrapped the response.

    Speaking of clocks, I think you misunderstood Mr. Fox. He correctly pointed out that your April 10th post (#14) was made “late at night,” not that 4 in the afternoon was “late at night” as you accused him of claiming in your subsequent post (#16, which has mysteriously disappeared). A minor error, yes, but I can’t help but think your mediocre grasp of English may be impacting your ability to process and respond to comments made on these threads, to say nothing of the scientific papers you’re citing. If I’m wrong, forgive me, I’m not trying to insult you.

  18. #18 Steff Z
    April 12, 2007

    The different Giant Pacific Octopuses at the Seattle Aquarium have different color *tendencies*, it seems to me.
    Andromeda doesn’t seem to get very pale when she’s resting, compared to Kraken (who seems to tend to be splotchy) or the late lamented Ivan. (OTOH, Andromeda has a different den than Ivan and now Kraken. The much-missed Mouse, in the same tank Andromeda now lives in, also didn’t get very pale, IIRC.) But their color pattern scales, and color range, and so on are all pretty similar. FWIW.

    Do stay away from octopods with bright blue markings, though, everybody.

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