Subscribe

RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus fictitious endangered species of cephalopod, was given the Latin name "Octopus paxarbolis" (which means, roughly, "Pacific tree octopus"). It was purported to be able to live both on land and in water, and is said to live in the Olympic National Forest and nearby rivers, spawning in water where eggs are laid.

The Pacific Northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) can be found in the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula on the west coast of North America. Their habitat lies on the Eastern side of the Olympic mountain range, adjacent to Hood Canal. These solitary cephalopods reach an average size (measured from arm-tip to mantle-tip,) of 30-33 cm.


Unlike most other cephalopods, tree octopuses are amphibious, spending only their early life and the period of their mating season in their ancestral aquatic environment. Because of the moistness of the rainforests and specialized skin adaptations, they are able to keep from becoming desiccated for prolonged periods of time, but given the chance they would prefer resting in pooled water.
An intelligent and inquisitive being (it has the largest brain-to-body ratio for any mollusk), the tree octopus explores its arboreal world by both touch and sight.



Adaptations its ancestors originally evolved in the three dimensional environment of the sea have been put to good use in the spatially complex maze of the coniferous Olympic rainforests. The challenges and richness of this environment (and the intimate way in which it interacts with it,) may account for the tree octopus's advanced behavioral development. (Some evolutionary theorists suppose that "arboreal adaptation" is what laid the groundwork in primates for the evolution of the human mind.)

Reaching out with one of her eight arms, each covered in sensitive suckers, a tree octopus might grab a branch to pull herself along in a form of locomotion called tentaculation; or she might be preparing to strike at an insect or small vertebrate, such as a frog or rodent, or steal an egg from a bird's nest; or she might even be examining some object that caught her fancy, instinctively desiring to manipulate it with her dexterous limbs (really deserving the title "sensory organs" more than mere "limbs",) in order to better know it.


Tree octopuses have eyesight comparable to humans. Besides allowing them to see their prey and environment, it helps them in inter-octopus relations. Although they are not social animals like us, they display to one-another their emotions through their ability to change the color of their skin: red indicates anger, white fear, while they normally maintain a mottled brown tone to blend in with the background.

The reproductive cycle of the tree octopus is still linked to its roots in the waters of the Puget Sound from where it is thought to have originated. Every year, in Spring, tree octopuses leave their homes in the Olympic National Forest and migrate towards the shore and, eventually, their spawning grounds in Hood Canal. There, they congregate (the only real social time in their lives,) and find mates. After the male has deposited his sperm, he returns to the forests, leaving the female to find an aquatic lair in which to attach her strands of egg-clusters. The female will guard and care for her eggs until they hatch, refusing even to eat, and usually dying from her selflessness. The young will spend the first month or so floating through Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, and as far as North Puget Sound before eventually moving out of the water and beginning their adult lives.
Why It's Endangered

Although the tree octopus is not officially listed on the Endangered Species List, we feel that it should be added since its numbers are at a critically low level for its breeding needs. The reasons for this dire situation include


  • Decimation of habitat by logging and suburban encroachment; building of roads that cut off access to the water, which it needs for spawning.
  • Predation by foreign species such as house cats.
  • Booming populations of its natural predators, including the bald eagle.


The possibility of Pacific Northwest tree octopus extinction is not an unwarranted fear. Other tree octopus species including the Douglas octopus and the red-ringed madrona sucker were once abundant throughout the Cascadia region, but have since gone extinct because of threats similar to those faced by paxarbolis, as well as overharvesting by the now-illegal tree octopus trade.


The history of the tree octopus trade is a sad one. Their voracious appetite for bird plumes having exhausted all the worthy species of that family, the fashionistas moved on to cephalopodic accoutrements during the early 20th Century. Tree octopuses became prized by the fashion industry as ornamental decorations for hats, leading greedy trappers to wipe out whole populations to feed the vanity of the fashionable rich. While fortunately this practice has been outlawed, its effects still reverberate today as these millinery deprivations brought tree octopus numbers below the critical point where even minor environmental change could cause disaster.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your blog
posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?
Thanks a lot!

my homepage ... medical sonography salary

Coach Factory said...

longchamp, nike air max, hollister, mulberry, new balance pas cher, hollister, nike free pas cher, vanessa bruno, north face, nike roshe run, nike blazer, abercrombie and fitch, michael kors, vans pas cher, lululemon, air max, mac cosmetics, timberland, sac louis vuitton, vans shoes, sac guess, nike tn, abercrombie and fitch, longchamp, air force, sac louis vuitton, nike roshe run, michael kors pas cher, louis vuitton uk, louboutin, sac hermes, barbour, polo lacoste, north face, sac longchamp, converse pas cher, sac burberry, oakley pas cher, michael kors, nike roshe, nike trainers, ralph lauren, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban pas cher, louis vuitton, nike huarache, hollister, polo ralph lauren, hogan outlet, nike free

Coach Factory said...

ferragamo shoes, hollister, north face outlet, babyliss pro, soccer jerseys, instyler, p90x, canada goose outlet, birkin bag, canada goose, air max, ghd, wedding dresses, moncler, lululemon outlet, moncler outlet, reebok outlet, asics running shoes, marc jacobs, jimmy choo outlet, ugg australia, valentino shoes, ugg boots, timberland boots, ugg, mont blanc, new balance shoes, baseball bats, herve leger, canada goose uk, bottega veneta, celine handbags, chi flat iron, canada goose jackets, beats by dre, ugg boots, iphone 6 cases, rolex watches, mcm handbags, ugg pas cher, canada goose, soccer shoes, canada goose, north face jackets, moncler, uggs outlet, giuseppe zanotti, moncler, nfl jerseys, insanity workout

Coach Factory said...

kate spade handbags, burberry outlet, louboutin shoes, chanel handbags, louboutin, michael kors outlet, longchamp handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, true religion jeans, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, air max, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses cheap, longchamp outlet, coach outlet store online, louis vuitton, christian louboutin shoes, coach outlet, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet, tiffany and co, burberry outlet, louis vuitton outlet, coach factory outlet, longchamp handbags, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, prada handbags, air max, nike shoes, nike free, louis vuitton outlet stores, michael kors outlet, prada outlet, gucci outlet, true religion jeans, louis vuitton handbags, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet, louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet

oakleyses said...

longchamp outlet, nike outlet, michael kors outlet online, chanel handbags, christian louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, replica watches, coach outlet, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, polo ralph lauren outlet online, michael kors outlet store, oakley sunglasses, polo outlet, christian louboutin uk, christian louboutin, burberry handbags, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet, prada handbags, michael kors outlet, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, prada outlet, kate spade, michael kors outlet online, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin shoes, coach outlet store online, burberry outlet, true religion outlet, nike air max, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, nike free

oakleyses said...

north face, nike air max uk, sac hermes, hollister uk, nike air force, louboutin pas cher, michael kors, oakley pas cher, converse pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister pas cher, nike free run, jordan pas cher, nike tn, burberry pas cher, longchamp pas cher, timberland pas cher, nike air max, polo ralph lauren, nike roshe, lululemon canada, ralph lauren uk, true religion outlet, guess pas cher, vans pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, nike air max uk, true religion jeans, hogan outlet, north face uk, new balance, air max, ray ban pas cher, nike free uk, true religion outlet, nike blazer pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors pas cher, ray ban uk, polo lacoste, michael kors outlet, mulberry uk

oakleyses said...

hollister clothing, giuseppe zanotti outlet, lululemon, wedding dresses, abercrombie and fitch, hermes belt, asics running shoes, bottega veneta, celine handbags, soccer shoes, valentino shoes, ferragamo shoes, vans outlet, mcm handbags, timberland boots, nike roshe run uk, longchamp uk, nike air max, north face outlet, p90x workout, new balance shoes, insanity workout, iphone 6 cases, herve leger, instyler, oakley, hollister, nike huaraches, soccer jerseys, nike trainers uk, babyliss, chi flat iron, ghd hair, baseball bats, jimmy choo outlet, mont blanc pens, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, beats by dre, nfl jerseys, reebok outlet, nike roshe run

oakleyses said...

ralph lauren, vans, gucci, pandora jewelry, ray ban, hollister, ugg, swarovski crystal, links of london, lancel, toms shoes, juicy couture outlet, montre pas cher, pandora uk, replica watches, converse outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, coach outlet, ugg uk, hollister, ugg pas cher, uggs outlet, ugg boots, supra shoes, pandora charms, marc jacobs, louboutin, thomas sabo, juicy couture outlet, ugg boots, karen millen uk, uggs outlet, converse, swarovski, uggs on sale, nike air max, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, wedding dresses