Please Explain: Cephalopods and Sea Creatures

Friday, August 26, 2011

You may have spent time at the beach this summer, watching the waves and swimming in the surf, but on this week’s Please Explain, we're going below the surface to look at some of the creatures that live on the ocean floor—cuttlefish, squid, and octopus. Roger Hanlon senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Ellen Prager, formerly the chief scientist at Aquarius Reef Base in Florida and author of Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime join us to talk about these creatures and their amazing abilities to camouflage themselves.

Watch this amazing video of an octopus shot by Roger Hanlon:

Please Explain: Cephalopods


Roger Hanlon and Ellen Prager

Comments [11]


Aug. 26 2011 05:22 PM
Marcia from New Jersey

Fascinating segment! Heard part of it in the car and had to look up the video when I got home. What a phenomenal example of camouflage.

I will try to remember to say "sea stars" instead of "starfish." Thank you for a welcome diversion as we hunker down for the hurricane. I hope all the cephalopods aren't blown away.

Aug. 26 2011 03:52 PM
Wayne Johnson from Brooklyn

The Leonard Lopate show rarely invites listener call in, but when you do and then censor a legitimate and respectful question because it might be perceived as "aggressive" shouldn't your audience wonder about the place of free speech on public radio. From now on only gentile questions which won't upset your guests.

Aug. 26 2011 02:20 PM

Thank you for this brilliant brilliant program!

Aug. 26 2011 01:57 PM
Danielle Jensen

What happened to all the star fish. When I was a child they were all over the beach jetties. Now I never see any on the jersey shore.

Aug. 26 2011 01:54 PM
Emily from Brooklyn, NY

I worked as an assistant aquarist in Alaska, where one of my roles was to feed the octopus that were not on display. Once, Aurora (a young female) got annoyed that I was giving to much attention to July (an ooooooolder female), and she squirted me with a sizable amount of water through the tank. They're brilliant!

Aug. 26 2011 01:42 PM

I've been so busy watching the video that I could not catch a lot of the conversation so far! Amazing...

Aug. 26 2011 01:40 PM

Very smart!!

Really cool!!

Aug. 26 2011 01:40 PM
Jordan from Madison, NJ

I have a whole cuttlefish in the freezer. Never cooked one before. Do I need to be careful cleaning it? Can I break the ink sac and taint the color of the flesh? I see a lot of chinese dishes call for scoring the flesh to tenderize. Is that preferred for quick-cooking? Thanks!

Aug. 26 2011 01:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

When an octopus or other cephalopod imitates a texture, is its skin really taking on that texture, or is it creating an optical illusion?

And where do starfish fit into all this?

Aug. 26 2011 01:38 PM
Christopher from Brooklyn

Great segment!! How about using the more etymologically correct plural octopodes more often?

Aug. 26 2011 01:35 PM

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