Cephalopod Week Returns

by AMNH on

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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. See our cephalopod spotter's guide for help finding examples 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!

A mimic octopus whose skin pattern conceals a small fish.
© AMNH/5W infographics-P.Velasco 

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.