SHELL SHIFTER

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Our Wildworld - SB

A mol­lusc peeks out from its shell amid a swirl of plank­ton. But look again. It’s cer­tainly a clam shell, but those suck­ers are a clue that the an­i­mal tucked up inside is no clam. It’s a veined octopus, a rare ex­am­ple of a soft-bod­ied an­i­mal that can walk on two ‘legs’, free­ing up the other six to use as cam­ou­flage or carry its home around. Tra­di­tion­ally, this octopus's shel­ter of choice would be an empty bi­valve shell, but in the Molucca Sea of In­done­sia, it has been di­ver­si­fy­ing its port­fo­lio to in­clude dis­carded co­conuts.

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