New Antarctic octopus species discovered

This video says about itself:

Time-lapse footage of the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights.

This is the Southern Hemisphere equivalent of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

Filmed during the Antarctic winter in the general vicinity of McMurdo Station and Scott Base, where the sun is below the horizon for 4 months of the year.

Most of the individual clips here were each taken over about a 10 minute period to give you an idea of how much they were moving in real time.

From Discovery News:

July 22, 2010 — Scientists have for the first time collected venom from octopuses captured from the waters of Antarctica.

In the process they have discovered four new octopus species and two new types of cephalopod venom.

Researchers hope the new venoms will lead to the development of drugs for pain management, fighting allergies and treating cancer.

The study was led by Bryan Fry of the University of Melbourne with researchers from the University of Hamburg and the Norwegian University of Technology and Science.

While venom has long been seen as a potential resource for drug development, scientists have only recently realized that the venom of cephalopods — octopuses, cuttlefish and squid — is unique.

Fry says venom enzyme activity is normally affected by temperature, but the enzymes in the Antarctic octopus venom somehow manage to stay active below zero.

“The venom of cephalopods living in the waters of the Antarctic has special adaptations allowing it to work in… sub zero temperatures. The next step is to work out what biochemical tricks they have used,” he said. “So far the analyses reveals that Antarctic octopus venom harbors a range of toxins, two of which had not previously been described.”

“Among the discoveries are new small proteins in the venom with very intriguing activities, which may be potentially useful in drug design,” he added.

The new study follows on from Fry’s revelation last year that all octopuses are venomous.

Since then, scientists have embarked on the huge task of collecting and studying these venoms to gain a greater understanding of their structure and how they work.

Fry’s team travelled to the Antarctic aboard the Australian Antarctic Division‘s flagship Aurora Australis, collecting 203 octopuses over more than six weeks.

They then genetically profiled each specimen to identify the species and collected venom to analyze in the lab.

“These are venoms that have never been studied before. There are minor differences which allow them to work and we still don’t know what those differences are,” Fry said. “So we’re comparing them to octopus venom with similar enzymes from other species like the tropical Blue-ringed octopus.”

Leggy Impersonator: Octopus Makes Like a Flatfish: The Indonesian mimic octopus can impersonate flatfish: here.

August 2010: The Indonesian mimic octopus can impersonate flatfish and sea snakes to dupe potential predators. By creatively configuring its limbs, adopting characteristic undulating movements and displaying conspicuous colour patterns, the octopus can successfully pass for a number of different creatures that share its habitat, several of which are toxic: here.

The evolution of conspicuous facultative mimicry in octopuses: an example of secondary adaptation? Here.

November 2010: A new species of squid has been discovered in the southern Indian ocean: here.

New forms of life discovered 16,000 feet below the sea in deepest hydrothermal vent yet found: here.

New deep sea species filmed off Australia: here.

Squid: here.

A new species of squid has been discovered by scientists analysing 7,000 samples gathered during last year’s IUCN-led seamounts cruise in the southern Indian Ocean: here.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2010) — While Arctic sea ice has been diminishing in recent decades, the Antarctic sea ice extent has been increasing slightly. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology provide an explanation for the seeming paradox of increasing Antarctic sea ice in a warming climate: here.

As part of a study for the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML), scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) analysed sea-bed colonies of bryozoans from coastal and deep sea regions around the continent and from further afield. They found striking similarities in particular species of bryozoans living on the continental shelves of two seas – the Ross and Weddell – that are about 1,500 miles apart and separated by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: here.

Antarctic sea ice increase not linked to ozone hole, new research shows: here.

South Pole an ideal spot for astronomers: here.

1st census shows life in planet ocean is richer, more connected, more altered than expected: here.

Captain Scott’s failed Antarctic expedition was only 100 years ago: here. (Warning, video contains grown men chasing penguins)

Ozone recovery and greenhouse gases in the Southern Hemisphere | UCAR & NCAR Staff Notes: : here.

4 thoughts on “New Antarctic octopus species discovered

  1. Pingback: New Antarctic animal species discoveries | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: What do Antarctic orcas eat? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: What ammonites ate | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Did squid eat Jurassic ammonites? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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