On the Air: July 14, 2019

Like its garden-variety namesake, the sea cucumber doesn’t get around much. Most species appear to spend their entire adult lives on the same patch of sea floor. But recent research suggests that at least some of them may get out more. They’ve been seen to drift along like tumbleweeds.

Sea cucumbers are named for their resemblance to the vegetable. They have long, tube-shaped bodies with a mouth at one end. Tentacles around the mouth allow them to scoop up mud and sand, which they filter for food.

In Print: July 1, 2019

Most octopus species hunt by probing holes or lunging at prey with all eight arms. But the larger Pacific striped octopus is not like most octopuses. This large species is more subtle—and sly. When it spots prey, the octopus shrinks itself and sneaks up to its mark. Then the cephalopod simply reaches out and… well actually, it gently taps its prey. The prey is so startled that it jumps into the octopus’s waiting arms, or the octopus uses the moment to grab dinner.