Cephalopod Week Returns

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It's Cephalopod Week, and that means that, along with our partners at Science Friday and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we'll be taking time over the next seven days to discuss these amazing invertebrates. Keep an eye on the Museum's social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram) for videos, conversations with curators, and a host of other content exploring the lives of cephalopods like squids, nautiluses, and octopuses.

Chambered Nautilus

Chambered nautiluses are sometimes called living fossils because they so closely resemble ancient cephalopods like ammonites. 

Image courtesy of T.B. Smith 


To kick things off, Curator Neil Landman narrates a video introducing the amazing ammonites—cephalopods that sported hard shells in an incredible multiplicity of shapes and were incredibly successful in prehistoric oceans.


Ammonites were one of the most common marine creatures on Earth for millions of years—until they were driven to extinction by the same meteorite impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Science Bulletins has the details in the video below.


From ancient ammonites to giant squid, you can find a lot of cephalopods right here at the Museum—if you know where to look. Click here for a short spotter's guide on where to find these examples of these animals in The Grand Gallery, the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, and elsewhere.

You can check out our feature on the mimic octopus, a cephalopod so adept at the art of disguise that other animals that use it as camouflage!

Mimic Octopus GIF

© AMNH/5W infographics-P.Velasco 


You can also see beautiful images of cephalopods from early scientific works on display now in Opulent Oceans.

And finally, revisit the Museum's web series Shelf Life to get an introduction to the Museum's giant squid specimen, and learn what it took to get it here.