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Stauroteuthis inside out

This photograph shows a deep-sea octopus in the genus Stauroteuthis that has turned itself inside out, perhaps as a defensive maneuver. What you are seeing is the underside of six of the octopus' eight tentacles, as well as the underside of the fleshy web that stretches between the tentacles. In between the octopus' suckers, you can see small spines called "cirrae," which are believed to help the octopus grab and hold prey. Although many octopus live on the seafloor, Stauroteuthis usually swim up in the water column. This octopus was photographed about 3,600 meters (almost 12,000 feet) below the surface of Monterey Bay. You can see video of another "cirrate" octopus on MBARI's YouTube Channel.

Note: This image may not be copied, reprinted, or used without explicit permission from MBARI.

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