Octlantis – an octopus city

I may have immediately imagined a ‘Sharky and George’ metropolis but the truth is still pretty amazing.

The gloomy octopus species (Octopus tetricus)ย are usually described as isolated and solitary creatures, maybe that’s why they’re so gloomy, but this is the 2nd discovered ‘city.’

Octlantis is made up of dens built out of sand and shells, and home to up to 15 of individuals.ย  The octopuses were seen meeting up, living together, communicating with each other, chasing unwelcome octopuses away, and also evicting each other from dens.

We usually think only vertebrates behave so socially which makes Octlantis such an interesting place to study.



Usually my science illustrations are pretty simple but I really enjoyed painting this and it became a bit more detailed.ย  I was also asked (begged) by Dan to leave off my usual thick black lines. I’m still unsure if it’s better or not!

The research has been published inย Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology.

Plants growing inside salamanders? But why?

This snippit made me go “huh, our planet is still weird.” There is so much we still have to learn about our planet!

I hope you have a lovely weekend. The sunshine has made it pretty misty here in Snowdonia but we got to do a bit of indoor climbing today. Now to give my sore hands a rest!

30 Vaquita

Ever heard of a vaquita? Neither had I.

They are tiny, possibly our smallest cetacean.  They were our second most endangered dolphin until the baiji were written off as extinct. Now they are THE rarest and on the verge of being lost for ever.

On the latest count there are only 30 left. I can paint all the vaquita that are on this planet and that blows my mind.

Gill nets are the biggest known culprits and hopefully if the Mexican government will halt the use of these nets the vaquita may have a chance.