Video: Deep-sea footage helps researchers understand octopod real estate

Video: Deep-sea footage helps researchers understand octopod real estate
A Graneledone octopus resting under a rock. Credit: NOAA

Biologists are using footage from remotely operated vehicles to better understand where deep-sea octopuses prefer to live.

Understanding an animal's choice of habitat is crucial to understanding its . Abigail Pratt, a at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has been crawling through undersea video from the North Atlantic Ocean to better understand where deep-sea octopuses prefer to settle down. Pratt is hoping to find out what seafloor features make the best real estate—whether octopuses prefer hard ground or soft, or whether they tend to settle on specific geographical features like submarine canyons or continental shelves.

The main question Pratt wants to answer is whether octopuses prefer one kind of habitat over another and if the habitat choice varies by species. She'll present preliminary findings from her work this week at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 in San Diego.

Check out some of the ROV footage from the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer Pratt has been scrubbing through for some incredible octopus shots.

In one video, biologists zoom in on two beautiful Graneledone octopuses—with a cameo by an eel!

An octopus flawlessly blending in with the surrounding sediment. Credit: American Geophysical Union
Several octopuses hanging out on a rock slope – can you spot all of them? Credit: American Geophysical Union
Credit: American Geophysical Union

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This story is republished courtesy of AGU Blogs (http://blogs.agu.org), a community of Earth and space science blogs, hosted by the American Geophysical Union. Read the original story here.

Citation: Video: Deep-sea footage helps researchers understand octopod real estate (2020, February 18) retrieved 4 April 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-02-video-deep-sea-footage-octopod-real.html
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